Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Year In Review

Welcome to my 5th annual year in review, where I take the first line or two of the first entry of each month in order to produce a random and (hopefully) interesting summary of 2009.

January - I wasn’t planning on posting today, but since it is Thursday, I figured I would share a quick story. After eating too many dairy products over the past day or two (mmm...cheese) coupled with some alcohol last night, I managed to clog my first toilet of 2009 even with a courtesy flush.

February - 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.

March - Ashley Diparlo and Becky Emmers of WTAE's Pittsburgh Channel website are awesome. They are even more awesome for including the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament on their Links N'@ video.

April - I’m writing this on Tuesday night since my computer is going to be one of many to explode on Wednesday from the Conficker worm.* Should be fun! Hopefully, the world isn’t going to end and you’re able to read this.

May - The Virginia Lottery has a great advertising campaign at some Metro stations. It’s a simple electronic billboard with bright red numbers indicating the current jackpot for Mega Millions.

June - I was awake earlier Sunday than I am during the work week since I was scheduled to referee several adult co-ed soccer games. There were thunderstorms in the middle of the night, but the phone lines and websites of the referee assigner, soccer league and county all indicated that the field was open.

July - Now that I wrote about my gamblings experience in Vegas, I thought I would share notes from the rest of my vacation. I spotted Alexander Ovechkin lying out at the Bally's pool with an attractive female companion.

August - A conductor in Lithuania created an orchestral piece to accompany Nora, the piano playing cat. Enjoy!

September - Here is your opportunity to relive game six of the 1991 Stanley Cup Finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Minnesota North Stars.

October - It seems like the Penguins were raising the Stanley Cup only yesterday, yet the NHL regular season starts tonight. Yes, really. I’m being serious.

November - Is it a turn-on or turn-off to see someone with Lucky Charms in their grocery store cart?

December - After last week's difficult A-List actress edition, this may be one of the easier versions of Trivia Tuesday. Your challenge is to name the three letter airport code to the 10 busiest airports in the United States.

As usual, it seems like I wrote about a wide variety of topics. We got a TMI Thursday and a Trivia Tuesday mixed in with some Pittsburgh sports, my life as a soccer referee, our Vegas vacation and a question that scholars have debated for decades.

On behalf of me and everyone else here at Sean's Ramblings (that would still be me), thank you very much for reading, commenting and for your continued support. Have a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

FROSTIVAL: January 1-3, 2010

You've made your plans for New Year's Eve and perhaps you even have an idea for what you're going to do on New Year's Day (my guess is that it involves sleeping in and possibly watching the NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park). However, what are your plans for the Saturday and Sunday of this New Year's weekend? What are you going to do on Friday once you wake up? If you live in the Washington DC area, may I suggest checking out the first annual FROSTIVAL at the Dulles Expo and Conference Center in Chantilly, Virginia Friday, January 1st through Sunday, January 3rd from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.



The FROSTIVAL is a brand new winter-themed family festival (created by the organizers of Celebrate Fairfax and Fall for Fairfax) geared to kids ages 2-12 and includes twenty interactive science and craft stations; 15 rides, slides and bounces; and three stages of entertainment featuring nationally recognized popular children’s performers Rocknoceros, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, and Yosi. That's one really long sentence! There is also a diverse line-up of music and dance performance groups showcasing the varied heritage and cultures of the region as well as a story time stage where local dignitaries will read winter-themed or classical children’s stories.

While these activities may not be a good fit for many of you, I'd like to suggest volunteering at the event. The event is in desperate need for volunteers, so please consider helping for a four-hour shift on Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday. If you're interested, please contact Ashley Evancheck at Ashley.Evancheck@FairfaxCounty.gov or at 703-324-9423.

For more information about the event itself, including the full entertainment schedule and discounted tickets and weekend passes, please visit the FROSTIVAL website.

Finally, check out a commercial of the event on YouTube.

Don’t Hibernate. Celebrate! (I like that tagline!)


UPDATE

Here is a few more articles about FROSTIVAL from the Washington Business Journal and the Annandale VA blog.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Trivia Tuesday: Television City Edition

Happy Tuesday to you! Today's trivia is one that I created but based on a quiz I saw on Sporcle a few months ago. Listed below are ten television shows. Your challenge is to name the city where these shows took place.

1. Perfect Strangers
2. Laverne & Shirley
3. Hangin' with Mr. Cooper
4. How I Met Your Mother
5. The Dukes of Hazzard
6. Designing Women
7. Mr. Belvedere
8. Family Ties
9. 227
10. Full House

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

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ziggy Leads Steelers to Victory

Although LaMarr Woodley, Ben Roethlisberger and Jeff Reed were the most valuable players in the Steelers' 23-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens (along with Derrick Mason dropping a TD pass and some dumb penalties by the Ravens), 2009 first-round draft pick Ziggy Hood played his best game as a pro. Statistically, Hood had two tackles, one a sack and the other a tackle for a loss, and a fumble recovery.*

Here's what Coach Mike Tomlin had to say about Ziggy's performance (courtesy of Steelers Depot):

Question: Talk about Ziggy Hood.
Mike Tomlin: He made a few plays for us. A young guy kind of taking advantage of opportunities. Of course, he was afforded more of an opportunity because of what Brett Keisel’s been going through. He made a few timely plays for us. He’s a quality young player, he’s going to be a good player, not soon enough for us, not soon enough for him but we’re seeing strides week in and week out. We’re excited about what he could be. He helped us today which is good.


In honor of Hood's solid game, please join me in saying, Hooray for Ziggy!





If you thought I've been waiting eight months to write this post, you would be correct!


* Can someone explain why Hood was credited with a fumble recovery instead of an interception? Woodley knocked the ball off of Flacco's hand, the ball bounced off a Ravens' lineman and Hood caught it with the ball never touching the ground.


Finally, I have a dream to have 50 followers on Twitter. (I'm currently at 38.) Please click here if you'd like to follow me.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Steelers-Ravens Live Blog II

Our live blog of the first Steelers-Ravens game this season didn't go very well. Actually, the live blog went great; the result of the game did not. Join me, the guys from White Nerdy Wonks and others (maybe even you!) for Sunday's game. Unlike the previous Steelers-Ravens live blog, topics of conversation will not include Dennis Dixon, my mustache, and the fact that both Joe Flacco and Tyler Palko attended Pitt.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Disney Christmas

While watching the underrated* The Middle last night, ABC aired a commercial for Disney's Christmas Day parade. The advertisement highlighted the artists performing at the parade/TV special: The Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, Celine Dion and Stevie Wonder in that order. I realize that they are Disney artists and that Disney owns ABC so they want to promote their artists, but did you ever think that you would live in a world where The Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato would get top billing over Celine Dion and especially Stevie Wonder?



* I actually have no idea if the show is underrated, overrated or simply rated. I do know that it's a surprisingly funny show but doesn't seem to get as much attention as Modern Family and Cougar Town. ABC did a nice job with their Wednesday comedy night (except for Kelsey Grammer's Hank which didn't work out that well; to paraphrase Meat Loaf, 3 out of 4 ain't bad!).

Photo from something called disneydreaming.com.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

With A Stick

Thanks to PS3 for coming up with a great reply to any argument or debate.



If you happen to have a heated discussion or debate over the next few weeks (this type of thing never happens during the holidays!), use "With a Stick" for the win!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Trivia Tuesday

I have had a Yahoo e-mail account for nearly 10 years. While this particular e-mail address is no longer my primary account, it is essentially my all-purpose/utility infielder e-mail. Whenever I sign up for something, I do so using this Yahoo e-mail. Therefore, I receive regular e-mails from airlines, hotels, restaurants, sports teams, and more. Last night, someone or something managed to send an e-mail from this account to many of my contacts with no subject and simply a link. One of my friends actually clicked on this link and told me it was for a website selling Viagra. Lovely. While I contacted Yahoo and changed my password, I may need to get rid of this e-mail. I'm reluctant to do so since there are personal messages in there from years past that I don't want to lose. However, if spam messages are sent from this e-mail again, it's D-U-N, done.

So this paragraph is a long way of writing that I don't really have a Trivia Tuesday this week. Therefore, I made up my own based on current events.

1. 86-year-old 84 Lumber founder Joe Hardy married for the fourth time on Saturday. How old is his new wife?

2. What was Brittany Murphy's best film?

3. What part of Monday night's Giants-Redskins game made me laugh out loud?

4. The Federal government and nearly every school in the DC area closed on Monday due to the 20+ inches of now in the region. We received an e-mail on Sunday night from Target saying that they would be open on Monday. What time did Target open?

5. How many times did I shave over the last three days (Saturday, Sunday & Monday)?

6. How many members of the Woodland Hills High School football team are currently playing in the NFL? (Bonus: name them)

7. Pittsburgh Steelers WR Limas Sweed was placed on injured reserve ending his disappointing season. Where does he rank in on the team in catches and receiving yards?

8. Have you seen Avatar? If so, is it worth seeing?

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

Monday, December 21, 2009

Where Is Jerome Bettis?

It's been four seasons now since Jerome Bettis retired from the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL. He spent his first three years of retirement as part of NBC's Football Night in America, but was replaced by Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison for this season. So where is Jerome Bettis now?



Well, he was been busy this past week telling Dan Patrick on Patrick's Fox Sports national radio show that "the Steelers are done." (Sean's note: While this is probably true, the Steelers dramatic win Sunday against the Packers gives us fans some false hope. I'm sure that I wasn't the only person looking into the NFL's tiebreaking procedures and the schedules of Denver, Baltimore and the other 7-7 teams.) Bettis continued by stating that "when you lose your spirit, then everything is pretty much gone. And that's what I saw when they hit the field against the Cleveland Browns. ... When you don't have the enthusiasm to get up for a game in which you have to win, then it tells me that the leadership isn't there." Ben Roethlisberger was not pleased. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

However, Bettis didn't just talk about the Steelers' problems; he provided solutions. As part of his weekly Sports Illustrated column, #36 shared his thoughts about what he would do to fix the Steelers. [Sports Illustrated]

Bettis also serves as the host in the collaboration between the NFL and Monster.com for the NFL Director of Fandemonium [NFL-Monster.com]



Even if Bettis shied away from the public focus, people continue to compare others to the future Hall-of-Fame running back.

Stanford RB Toby Gerhart "is an inelegant runner, blasting and banging and bouncing, lifting his style from the University of Jerome Bettis, where tackler tuition is paid in punishment." [Palo Alto Daily News]

James Island RB Matel Johnson "tries to emulate the style of former NFL great Jerome Bettis, a 5-10, 250-pound running back who was known as "The Bus" during his playing days." [Charleston, South Carolina's The Post and Courier]

Waseca, Minnesota RB Sam Milbrett "compared his running style to that of former Pittsburgh Steelers and St. Louis Rams running back Jerome Bettis, who earned the nickname, “The Bus” because of his ability to carry tacklers due to his powerful running style." [Waseca County News]

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor? "This thing drives like Jerome Bettis: big, heavy, yet changes directions with ease and keeps them wheels churnin'." Um, OK. He's The Bus not The Truck! [Motor Trend]



Outside of the football field and the motor vehicle comparisons, Bettis continues to give back to the community. He's reading to kids with his mom who "love[s] little people." [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]



Plus, he also has the restaurant Jerome Bettis' Grille 36 and the "Bus Stops Here" Foundation.

Finally, Jerome Bettis prepares for Christmas with his wife and two kids. [WPXI]

So to answer the original question, Jerome Bettis appears to be everywhere! Well, except on NBC.


This is the second (annual?) where is Jerome Bettis piece. To see what happened to Jerome Bettis last year, click here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Peeps Take DC By Storm

Perhaps this is not the best headline based on the huge amount of snow (20 inches for us) that fell in the DC area on Saturday. Regardless, the first ever Peeps store, called Peeps & Co., opened at National Harbor just last week. It looks like a a fun place with more than just Peeps. Here's more about the store from a random YouTube video:



Fox 5 DC (I have little confidence in Fox 5's video actually appearing here so you may need to click on the link if it doesn't work):



and the Lehigh Valley's The Morning Call has a story from the home-base perspective.

 

When the snow ever melts here, I'll definitely check this place out.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yinz Luv Da Stillers & Guins

A few weeks ago, Jim Shearer stated that he would retire from Yinz Luv Da Stillers if the Steelers lost to the Oakland Raiders. The Steelers couldn't lose at Heinz Field to the Raiders, right? Wrong. Sadly, this is Jim's last YLDS:



Personally, I think we should start a fund where we send Jim at least $1 so that he will continue YLDS. In the meantime, Jim now has more time for Yinz Luv Da Guins. Here's his second video of the 2009-2010 season.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Hanukkah

Tonight marks the eighth and final night of Hanukkah. To celebrate, I am proud to present Ziggy lighting the Menorah (sort of):



No cats or candles were harmed in the making of this picture. Actually, the candles were harmed. They were set on fire and melted into nothing!

Since we're expecting somewhere between 6 inches and 17 feet of snow in the Washington DC area this weekend, I may have lots of extra time to write. Therefore, make sure to visit Sean's Ramblings over the next few days for fascinating news and links.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fidelity Fires Employees For Playing Fantasy Football

This story comes from Yahoo via the Fort Worth Star Telegram in which four Fidelity employees were fired for playing fantasy football.

I have a small account with Fidelity and am seriously considering closing it because of this incident.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Vienna Metro

This post is specifically for folks in the Washington DC area who use the Vienna Metro station. Assuming that the move and everything else works out, I will begin using this station for my daily commute next month. I know very little about this station, so I need some help on the following questions:

* How early do I need to get to Vienna to get a parking spot?
* Where is the best place to park (I remember there being a garage and an outdoor lot)?
* If I'm too late, are there any other parking options around the Metro station?
* How much is parking these days?
* Besides I-66, is there any way to get to Vienna from the Fair Lakes/Fair Oaks area?
* I will likely take a bus to Vienna most days. Is there a specific bus area? If so, or even if not, how easy/hard is it to find my bus? (For example West Falls Church is manageable; the bus area outside the Pentagon seems to extend for miles.)



Thanks for your help!


Photo from Wikipedia

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It Always Sucks in Philadelphia

To prepare everyone for the Pittsburgh Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers home-and-home series taking place tonight in Pittsburgh and Thursday in Philadelphia, Benstonium created this excellent It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia parody. Enjoy!

Trivia Tuesday: Name Game

We're back with another multiple choice edition of Trivia Tuesday. Today's theme: the etymology of male names. Listed below are the origins of 11 male names (including a special bonus), and a description of a person with that first name. Your challenge is to name the names.

1. Old English occupational name meaning "noble watchman." (ABC sportscaster)

2. From the German for "famous with the spear." (Tennis champion)

3. From the Old English for "spear." (1990's HBO star)

4. From the German for "rule and warrior" (News anchor)

5. Old Norse word for "free man." (Black actor)

6. From a Scottish name for "wood" or "forest." (Grammy-winning country singer)

7. From the German for "noble" and "bright." (All-Star first baseman)

8. A Scottish word referring to a narrow strait. (2nd generation race car driver)

9. Derived from the name of the Greek God of wine. (1960's film star)

10. The world's most common given male name. (Athlete)

Bonus 11. Irish (I think) name for incredible blogger and amazing mustache grower. (Original James Bond)

Answers: Carl; Roger; Dennis; Gary; Muhammad; Kyle; Howard; Sean; Walter; Albert; Keith

As I mentioned at the beginning, this is a multiple choice game. Please leave your responses in the comments section below and please don't search the internet for answers. Good luck!

This quiz is courtesy of the fine folks at Stump Trivia (except for question #11).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Phone Problems

We arrived home on Friday afternoon to discover that there was no dial tone on our home phone. Lovely! I called our phone company (to protect their identity, let’s call them Horizon) and told them the situation. They were able to perform some type of test to confirm that we did not have a dial tone (like we didn't know this already), but Horizon was unable to tell whether the problem was occurring inside or outside our home. Therefore, they told me that they would send a technician out. This all seemed fairly standard until they told me that the earliest someone could come out would be this Friday, seven days after we reported the problem. This is unacceptable! How can a company wait seven days to fix a problem? Isn’t a phone a necessity? Of course, the phone company also said that a technician would be out between 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM. Wonderful! I told Horizon that we are moving soon and that this was making our decision of what phone company to use at our new home pretty easy. They didn’t seem to care.



I know what you’re thinking. Why not dump the home phone completely and just use cell phones? While we are seriously considering this, our cell phone reception (to protect the identity of our cell phone company, let’s call them Werizon Tireless) is not very good in our home.

Since we are about to move, I’m looking into options for phone service, cell phone service, cable, and internet. I know there are certain packages out there and want to get your opinion on what you like and/or what you don’t. Obviously, we want something that works but also won’t cost too much. We’re not sure yet whether or not we’ll go cell phone only and get rid of a home phone. Personally, I like having a home phone. Oh, we do get cell coverage from Werizon Tireless in the new place. Finally, a DVR, whether through Tivo or another company is a must (that sound you heard is Messiah yelling it’s about time). Any suggestions? The floor is yours.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Chanukah!

Chanukah starts tonight, so to honor this joyous occasion, I'm proud to present to you a cartoon version of Neil Diamond performing Adam Sandler's Chanukah song:



Yes, this really is Neil Diamond covering this classic song. Long-time readers know that I'm a Neil Diamond fan, but there are certainly parts of this version that make me cringe.

Happy Chanukah everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

TMI Thursday: Trip to the Doctor’s

Let me preface this post by writing that I am fine. I don’t have the swine flu, Bubonic plague or the dreaded Salahi disease.* This trip to my doctor was for my annual physical. The good news is that my weight is slightly down from last year and my cholesterol, which was fairly high a few years ago, is at a good level. The bad news is that the growth spurt I’ve been hoping for didn’t occur this year.

When the doctor completed the physical and started to leave, I asked him about getting a Tetanus shot since it’s been about 10 years since I had one. He replied that I had one recently. I did? He pulled out my record and showed a fax that I received a Tetanus shot*** on July 2, 2009 from someplace called Travel Clinic. I was confused. Did I have a Tetanus shot but forget? Where was I on July 2nd? Wait a minute. I’ve never heard of a place called Travel Clinic. And why was my name not on this fax. In fact, there was no patient name on the fax. What is it doing in my records? The doctor told me to sort it out with Travel Clinic and to come back another day if I needed the shot.

I called Travel Clinic later that day and explained the situation. They looked up their records and hadn’t heard of me either. So now I need to go back to my doctor’s office, which is 35-minutes away from my home without Beltway traffic, to get the Tetanus shot. Moral of the story: I need a new doctor!



Please visit LiLu for more TMI Thursdays. She is doing an excellent Post Secret edition of TMIT on her site plus you can visit the TMIT stories from other folks there. In addition, you can always click here to see all of my TMI Thursday archives.

* No one is going to understand this joke in three weeks.** Don’t believe me? What is the last name of the balloon boy family?

** A friend of mine wants the entire Tareq and Michaele Salahi incident to be called Gategate. I don’t think it’s going to stick. (I need a ruling from Lacochran to make sure that this is acceptable use of asterisks.)

*** Tetanus shots would be much more fun if they were Tetris shots. Imagine the possibilities of moving around squares and L-shaped pieces!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Analyzing Britney Spears' 3

Britney Spears recently released the song titled 3 off of her second greatest hits album, The Singles Collection. I have to admit that I was not expecting Britney to release a children's song though that is understandable as she is the mother of two young children. I applaud her efforts to teach kids the importance of counting and sharing and the number three. (If you're not familiar with the song, the video is at the bottom of this post.) Let's take a look at her lyrics:

1, 2, 3
This is the proper way to learn how to count. Start with the basics.

not only you and me
If it was just you and me, that would be two.

Got one eighty degrees
I'll be honest in that I don't understand this line. However, by searching 180 degrees in Google, the first result is for 180 Degrees, Inc., a Minneapolis non-profit that "has been providing intervention, prevention and supportive services to juvenile and adults since 1973." In that case, bravo to Britney for pointing out the important work of this organization.

And I'm caught in between
You can't be caught in between with just two. The number two is caught in between 1 and 3.

Countin'
Counting

1, 2, 3
Numbers.

Peter, Paul & Mary
A tribute to the late Mary Travers. Maybe this will encourage a new generation to learn more about this inspiring musical group.

Gettin' down with 3p
Sesame Street was brought to you by number 3 and letter p the day this song was written.

Everybody loves (oh)
and the letter o

Countin'
Yes, everybody loves counting!

(The previous portion of the song is the chorus.)



Babe, pick a night
Perhaps, Britney wants kids to learn about the seven days of the week too.

To come out and play
Great line. Britney wants kids to know that counting can be and should be fun. This could also be a tribute to the band, Offspring.

If it's alright
Obviously, you should check with your parents before going over to a friend's home.

What do you say?
Hopefully yes.


Merrier the more
To get you into the holiday spirit.

Triple fun that way
Not just fun or double fun. Triple fun is even, um, funner!

Twister on the floor
Not only will you learn to count, you can play Twister which helps you with colors and coordination.

What do you say?
Again, yes. (Plus, say rhymes with way.)


Are - you in
Britney is really applying the peer pressure.

Livin' in sin is the new thing (yeah)
Some cultures discourage women to learn. Britney sings that these women should learn. It may be a sin to some people, but it shouldn't be.

Are - you in
She's going to keep asking until you say yes.

I am countin'!
She is counting and wants you to join her.

CHORUS (x2)


Three is a charm
Actually three's company but Britney couldn't use that line due to the show's trademark.

Two is not the same
Correct. Two is not the same as three.

I don't see the harm
Seriously, what's the harm in counting?

So are you game?
Just another way of asking if you're in.

Lets' make a team
You can't have a team of one.

Make 'em say my name
That could be part of the game. 1 = Britney; 2 = you; 3 = another person.

Lovin' the extreme
I got nothing on this line.

Now are you game?
She's really applying the peer pressure!


Are - you in
Britney will not give up!

Livin' in sin is the new thing
We addressed this earlier, but using the word "sin" is a reference to letting adults know that it's okay to like this song intended for kids.

yeah Are - you in
OK, asking us again and again is not going to change our answer!

I am countin'!
And back to counting.

CHORUS

(2nd chorus is slightly different with the two lines below replacing "Got one eighty degrees" and "Gettin' down with 3p" respectively)

Got one minute of dreams
Unlike Fiona Apple, Britney wants you to know that she does go to sleep to dream.

Gettin' down with repeat
She wanted to say three-peat, but former Los Angeles Lakers coach Pat Riley has this trademarked.


What we do is innocent
Counting. Learning numbers. Innocent!

Just for fun and nothin' meant
Don't discourage the kids into thinking this is learning is not fun. Learning is fun!

If you don't like the company
With three people, there's always a chance you won't like one of them. Let's call the guy you don't like, Brady.

Let's just do it you and me
But everything is fine since with just the two of you.

You and me
Just reiterating you and me.

Or three
We can ask another person not named Brady.

Or four
or two other people, none of whom are Brady.

- On the floor
Well, duh. You can't play Twister on a roof or in the air.

CHORUS (x2)


So there you have it: Britney's first children's song. Plus, here's the video, which isn't quite as kid-friendly.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Trivia Tuesday: Super Bowl Music Performers Edition

Let's go back to a happy time: February 1, 2009. A day when the Steelers won the Super Bowl. A day when James Harrison turned in the greatest play in Super Bowl history only to be matched a few hours later by Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes. A day when someone performed at the halftime show, but who was that person and/or band? Today's challenge is to name the celebrity acts that performed at each of these Super Bowls.

1. XLIII (2009; this is the year the Super Bowl was played not the 2009 season)

2. XLII (2008)

3. XLI (2007)

4. XL (2006)

5. XXXIX (2005)

6. XXVIII (2004)

7. XXXVII (2003)

8. XXXVI (2002)

9. XXXV (2001)

10. XXXIV (2000)

At trivia night, we were given the ten artists that performed in a multiple choice format. I'm not going to give you that option...for now. See how you do, and as usual, do not use the internet to search for answers. Please leave your answers in the comments section below. If you are struggling and need some help, I will provide some names later. Good luck!

This quiz is courtesy of the fine folks at Stump Trivia.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Russell Crowe on Pittsburgh Sports

Cool video where Crowe uses Pittsburgh as an example to his rugby club fans:



h/t 96.1 KISS Morning Freak Show


Plus, check out KDKA's interview of Crowe about Pittsburgh itself (make sure to check out the web extra of the interview).

He deserves an Oscar nomination for every movie he makes and is always welcome in Pittsburgh (unlike Sienna Miller).

Season Over

If you can't beat the Oakland Raiders at home, you don't deserve to make the playoffs. You can't lose four straight games and expect to reach the postseason. No disrespect to the Pittsburgh native, but you can't give up three touchdowns passes by Bruce Gradkowski in the fourth quarter and win a football game.* It's clear that the Steelers miss Aaron Smith and especially Troy Polamalu. Over the past three weeks, the Steelers led late in the fourth quarter only to give up a scoring drives in the fourth quarter and overtime. I guess if there is any consolation to Sunday's loss, it is that we didn't have to wait until overtime to watch the Steelers lose.

So where do the Steelers go from here? I know people want to complain about offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, but the offense hasn't lost these games. The special teams has been, to be kind, below average, though again, it wasn't that unit's fault for the loss to Oakland. I guess we could say that the Steelers would have won had rookie DB Joe Burnett caught Gradkowski's pass late in the fourth; however, I think we would have the same concerns about the secondary. Well, except that we would be in a better mood, and a 7-5 Steelers team would have a chance at the playoffs while a 6-6 Steelers team with five conference loses does not.

So is it a Super Bowl hangover? Poor offensive red zone execution? Coaching? Defensive breakdowns? Personally, I still blame Jimmy Fallon.

Overall, I really can't be too upset. The Steelers are coming off of a Super Bowl Championship and are one of the greatest franchises in professional sports. Plus, things could be much worse; we could be Cleveland Browns fans!


* Based on this sentence, I think I am disrespecting Bruce Gradkowski.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday Links and Videos

Happy Friday everyone! I'm proud to present to you the following highlights from the internets:

* In preparation for Sunday's Steelers-Raiders, here's the best preview of the silver and black team that you will find. [One for the Other Thumb]

* Cory put together a post with the goal horns and songs from all 30 NHL teams. Well done, sir. Well done! [Three Rivers Burgh Blog]

* Ginny is trying to raise $10,000 for a game room at Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital. She is at close to $8,000 so please help out if you haven't already. [That's Church]

* Two amazing Sporcle quizzes for Pittsburgh Pirates fans. First, name all of the 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates. Second, name the Pirates opening day lineups from 1990-2009. [WHYGAVS and Raise the Jolly Roger respectively.]

* Penn State coach Joe Paterno is delusional if he thinks his team belongs in a BCS game. Besides the six automatic BCS bids, there are four other spots available. These other teams deserve a place in the BCS over Penn State: the Florida/Alabama loser, TCU, Boise State, Iowa (who beat Penn State in Happy Valley), Cincinnati (when they lose to Pitt). [Post-Gazette]

* Although the physical Movember is now over, the spiritual and psychological Movember continues as it is not too late to donate by clicking on this link. Thanks again to everyone who donated to this wonderful cause.

To celebrate everything mustache: the Fighting Wannstaches prepare you for the big game between Pitt and Cincinnati tomorrow at Heinz Field. Go Pitt!



Plus, the Minnesota Wild presented a tribute to the end of Movember:


(h/t Puck Daddy)

Have a good day and a great weekend!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

TMI Thursday: My Life

I doubt that many of you have even noticed, but I feel like the quality of my posts recently aren’t as good as they were before. Actually, some of you probably think that my posts are rubbish* regardless. Anyway, since it is TMI Thursday, I feel like now is an appropriate time to share what’s going on in my life. In just the last few days, we have signed contracts to sell our condo AND buy a townhouse. Between all of the negotiations, calls with our realtor, waiting to hear back from the realtor, talking to a financial guy, trying to figure out if we can afford to do this, how quickly this entire process is moving, scheduling times for home inspections, and trying to explain to Ziggy that he’s going to move to a new home, life has been extremely stressful lately. Well, maybe not the last item, but everything else has caused some anxiety.

So that’s what’s happening in my life. I have some great stories and ideas that I’m looking forward to sharing soon, but I may also ask for some advice about movers and the probable new commute over the next few weeks. Thanks for your patience and for reading!

Meanwhile, please visit LiLu for more TMI Thursdays. She is doing an excellent Post Secret edition of TMIT on her site plus you can visit the TMIT stories from other folks there. In addition, you can always click here to see all of my TMI Thursday archives.


* I’m currently reading Nick Hornby’s new book so I feel entitled to use British words!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Greatest Mustaches In History: Movember Concludes

As December begins, Movember sadly comes to an end. Thank you to everyone who donated to the Movember Foundation on my behalf (over $125 was raised!) and for those of you who had to see my mustache frequently or even infrequently. I'll have more about Movember momentarily, but as promised by the title, I'd like to introduce the greatest mustaches in history.

Father Ramblings



Sean on Day 28



Now I'd like to share my transformation from mustache man to clean-shaven.







Yes, Ziggy was fascinated with watching little pieces of hair fall from my face into the sink.

There are definitely pros and cons to growing a mustache. I look older with one and it was itchy at times. However, I thought it looked pretty good at the end, and I've noticed that I really miss rubbing my mustache with my finger while reading or thinking. (I know that sentence sounds strange but I'm sure some of you curl your hair while reading or do something else with your hands.)

Thanks again to everyone who donated to this wonderful cause and to the other Mo Bros out there. Plus, it's not too late to donate to Movember which benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong Foundation. Just click on this link.

To prove that I wasn't alone in growing a mustache, here's a little more about Movember:

ABC News presented a feature about Movember: Movember: Men Grow Moustaches for Cancer Awareness

Players on the Minnesota Wild participated as did Washington Capitals' Brendan Morrison and Shaone Morrisonn [DC Sports Bog]

Although not associated with Movember, Anaheim hockey player George Parros launched a 'Stache gear line. [h/t Hand of Godard via Empty Netters]

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Jim Shearer To Retire If Steelers Lose Sunday

The Steelers must win this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders! It's not only a must win game if the Steelers want to make the playoffs, but Jim Shearer also declared in this week's Yinz Luv Da Stillers that he will retire from YLDS if they lose. That cannot and must not happen! Play Ben; play Troy; play Dermontti Dawson; play Rod Woodson. Anything to ensure a Steelers victory!

In the meantime, enjoy the week #11 YLDS.

Trivia Tuesday: Airport Edition

After last week's difficult A-List actress edition, this may be one of the easier versions of Trivia Tuesday. Your challenge is to name the three letter airport code to the 10 busiest airports in the United States.

1) Atlanta Hartsfield
2) Chicago O'Hare
3) Los Angeles
4) Dallas/Fort Worth
5) Denver Stapleton
6) Phoenix Sky Harbor
7) Las Vegas McCarran
8) Minneapolis/St. Paul
9) Houston Intercontinental
10) San Francisco

As usual, please leave your responses in the comments section below and please don't search the internet for answers. We scored a 10 out of 10, so I have high expectations for you this week!

Finally, look for Movember updates either later today or tomorrow.

This quiz is courtesy of the fine folks at Stump Trivia.