Monday, January 31, 2011

New Giveaway (Car Advice Needed)

We interrupt the string of Pittsburgh Steelers-related posts for a brand new giveaway courtesy of CSN Stores. Are you looking for modern dining room furniture? Consider clicking the previous link to CSN's All Modern website for a wide variety of furniture. Now that we've have the CSN plug, here's the 411. (Does anyone use that phrase anymore?) I am giving away a $45 gift certificate to use at any of CSN's 200+ websites. If you want something with a Steelers logo on it, they have it. It's Super Bowl week, so I couldn't write a post without mentioning the Pittsburgh Steelers now could I?

Anyway, to enter this contest, all you need to do is leave a comment below. While you can simply just provide a way for me to contact you in case you win, I'll also provide a topic. We're looking for a new car in the small SUV category. Toyota's RAV-4, Honda's CRV and Kia's Sorrento are the early favorites. If you own any of these cars or a similar model, what are your thoughts? Would you recommend it? Do you have any consumer report information for any of these vehicles? Any information is greatly appreciated.

Please enter your comment by Wednesday, February 2nd (Groundhog Day!) at 9:00 PM Eastern time. I'll choose the winner via Random.org. One entry per person. CSN can only ship their products to the United States and Canada, so I’m sorry that my many readers from across the globe cannot enter. Good luck!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Black Gold and Silver (Lombardi Baby)

I love my blog. In just the past week, I've had the opportunity to interview the founder of the Steeler Nation in Israel, received an e-mail from TMZ (more on this later), and now, I've been contacted by a gentleman with the title "The Sherpa" regarding the first-ever Punjabi-Influenced Pittsburgh Steelers Football Anthem. Again, I love my blog.

So let me introduce you to BlackMahal. They recently released the song Black, Gold and Silver (Lombardi Baby) featuring samples from owner Dan Rooney, the late great Myron Cope, and features vocals from Lal Singh Bhatti the godfather of Punjabi-American music. Enjoy!

Black Gold and Siliver (Lombardi Baby) by BlackMahal

Here's more information about the song and the group:

From the home of the terrific turbans comes the new terrible towel anthem, Black, Gold and Silver by BlackMahal available for free download at www.facebook.com/blackmahal.

The song takes the classic black and gold colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers and adds the silver of the storied Lombardi Trophy, given to the winner of NFL Super Bowl. First there was "Here We Go" by Roger Wood then "Black and Yellow" from Wiz Khalifa. Now BlackMahal unveils the first Bhangra-infused anthem for football fans, "Black, Gold and Silver."

The song features some dedications and samples of the late Steelers broadcaster and icon, Myron Cope, as the band re-invents the, "Yoi, Yoi, and Double Yoi" catchphrase.

Bhatti also introduces a new name for the team that sits at the confluence of the Monongahela, Alleghany and Ohio Rivers, translating them into 'thin-jabis' or "those from the three rivers."

"The new colors of the Pittsburgh Steelers are black, gold and silver," says BlackMahal rapper and executive producer Vijay Chattha. "The Lombardi trophy and its silver sheen has become a standard of success in the team's historic franchise, so we wanted to celebrate our colors on the song."

"Steelers Nation* is a worldwide community so it's time for the rest of the world, like us, to express our love for the Steelers in local flavors," continues Chattha, a native of Weirton, WV, just 45 minutes from Pittsburgh's Heinz Field stadium.

Part P-Funk, part Punjabi-Funk, BlackMahal is a 10-piece live music experience complete with drums, DJs, horns, hip-hop MCs, and the godfather of Punjabi-American music – Ustad Lal Singh Bhatti.

BlackMahal's lead vocalist, Lal 'Blitz-Singh' Bhatti, is regarded as the godfather of Punjabi-American music. Bhatti has collaborated with the Black Eyed Peas, The Doors and has performed for nearly every U.S. President since Gerald Ford as well has being honored at the opening of the Smithsonian Sikh Gallery in 2005.

For over four decades, Bhatti has used the power of dhol, bhangra and Punjabi music to bring people of all cultures together including performances at America’s Bi-Centennial celebration in 1976 all the way to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as official Cultural Olympiad Performer.




BlackMahal is steeped in Old California, a Punjabi-American experience that started in the 1890s when the first Punjabi-Americans settled in the Great West and forged a new identity combining elements of Mexican and African-American influence. The band has rocked major concerts across North America including the 2010 Vancouver Olympics with features in Rolling Stone, Wired, The San Francisco Chronicle, and rotation on the BBC Radio 1.

* There's been quite a debate going on lately about whether Steeler Nation is Steelers Nation or Steeler Nation. The answer is clearly Steeler Nation. Ginny at That's Church put this to rest.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Black and Yellow

Wiz Khalifa and his hit song "Black and Yellow" are everywhere. Black and Yellow is currently among the top five downloaded songs and has over 28 million views on YouTube. Plus, Wiz and his song were featured on two shows this week that I have never watched.

First, Hoda and Kathie Lee discussed Black and Yellow on their portion of the Today Show. I tried for at least an hour to get the video without any luck. Instead, go to the 96.1 Kiss Morning Freak Show website to see the video. Basically, Hoda loves the song while Kathie Lee does not. Watch the video and answer this question: has Kathie Lee always been this obnoxious?

Next, Wiz made his late-night debut on the George Lopez Show.



(h/t Mondesi's House)

If you have no idea who Wiz Khalifa is, I recommend reading this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article to learn.

Finally, since I saw this on MTV yesterday, I figured I would share the Black and Yellow remix featuring Snoop Dogg, T-Pain and Juicy-J. Personally, I think the original is much better. Plus, T-Pain looks significantly bigger than the other three rappers.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yinz Luv Da Stillers: AFC Championship Edition

Vote for the Bat-Bat Cam!

Super Bowl Ticket Hunt in Pittsburgh

The Dallas Convention & Visitor's Bureau recently contacted me about a contest they are running where the winner will receive two tickets to the Super Bowl, along with four nights accommodation and $500 towards travel. Not too shabby!



Here's how it works:

A Mystery Man (not this Mystery Man) will wander the streets of Pittsburgh all weekend between 9am and 7pm, starting Friday. (Is Friday really the weekend? Just ignore my editorial.) The first person to find him (are we sure it's a him?) and say the secret phrase which can only be found on the Visit Dallas Facebook Page will win.

Make sure to follow the @DallasSBHunt on Twitter for more details. I also recommend following @psamp on Twitter since he'll help give some of the clues and checking out his blog for more information.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Steeler Nation Israel

I mentioned on Monday that my blog is going to be heavy on Pittsburgh Steelers content over the next few weeks. That happens when the team that you love advances to the biggest single game in the United States. But what about other countries? Daniel Sass is the founder of the Steeler Nation Israel page on Facebook, so I thought I would check-in with him about being a Steeler fan abroad.



How did you become a Steeler fan? Are you from the United States or have you always lived in Israel?

I was born in Pittsburgh in 1966. While I only lasted in Pittsburgh for 2 years, I was raised a Pirate/Steeler/Penguin fan. My earliest memories of the Steelers was their 1971 season (in which they had losing record).

I moved to Israel in 2002 (from Portland, OR).

Where do you watch Steelers games?

Fortunately [the] NFL has excellent coverage in Israel. There are weeks during the season that we have more games broadcast here than many cities in the States. ESPN, FOX Sports, and METV (a Christian station that pioneered showing NFL in Israel years ago), all broadcast NFL games. Last weeks AFC Championship game was actually broadcast simultaneously on two of these channels (ESPN & METV).

I have a video production company in the City of Efrat (a suburb of Jerusalem). I film and produce videos for Weddings, Bar/t Mitzvahs, etc. Years ago I converted the living room of my studio into a Steeler 'Man Cave' complete with Pool Table, big screen TV and probably the largest collection of Steeler memorabilia in the Middle East (including four chairs from Three Rivers Stadium). This is where we watch the games.



Do you know of Steelers bars in Israel?

As far as I know (and I did investigate) there are none.

Do you dread Sunday and Monday night games? They must start in the middle of the night for you!

NBA & MLB are kind of tough to follow closely because of the number of games played annually. But the NFL only has a 16 week season, so it is worth the investment of staying up all night to watch the games. It doesn't hurt that I am a night owl.

Since the Pittsburgh Pirates are never shown nationally in the United States, do they ever air Pittsburgh Pirates games there?

ESPN has the game of the week and the Pirates show up on TV a couple of times a year, but not more than that.

Tell us about the Steeler National Israel group.

This group has only become official recently, but there are an inordinate amount of people from Pittsburgh who now reside in Israel. AND it seems that EVERYBODY from Pittsburgh is a diehard Steeler fan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lived in the Philadelphia area for much of his childhood and spent a significant amount of time in Boston at Harvard and MIT. He later was Israel's ambassador to the United Nations. Based on all of this, if Netanyahu is a football fan, he probably supports either the Eagles or Patriots with a slim possibility of the Giants or Jets. This is a very odd way of prefacing this question, but are there any famous Steelers fans in Israel?

ABSOLUTELY . . . in my tiny little community there is a religious lady named Varda Epstein. You couldn't tell that she is a Steeler fan until you watch a game with her. She has one of the Three Rivers seats reserved for watching the games. Her uncle is (was) Myron Cope. It's a tiny little world.

Any Myron Cope stories from his niece?

You should ask her yourself. Her name is Varda Epstein and she is in the Steeler Nation - Israel group. (Sean’s Note: Maybe I will)

Finally, any predictions for the Super Bowl?

I know that the Pack is favored by 3, but I honestly believe that the Steelers will win by 10. They are post-season proven and I think Ben will prove again that the bigger the game the bigger he plays. Plus the Defense will do what they have been doing all season. Final score: Steelers 27 - Packers 17


Thanks to Daniel for agreeing to answer my silly questions. It's nice to get the perspective of how Steelers fans live abroad. In addition, thanks to Daniel for providing pictures of his man cave. I included a few more below. I'm extremely jealous of the Three Rivers Stadium seats. Don't forget to check out (and even join) the Steeler Nation Israel group.





Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Trivia Tuesday: Picture Edition

Not even a Steelers trip to the Super Bowl can stop Trivia Tuesday! We have something special and different this week. Your challenge is the name the actors "in drag" (as in Photoshopped) in the pictures below.



As a bonus question (let's call this #11), can you identify where Wiz Khalifa is located from this picture taken from the Black and Yellow video. I really have no clue.



Please leave your answers in the comments section below. While I normally write the disclaimer not to use the internet to help you find answers, I'm not sure this will be a problem for this quiz. Plus, feel free to use the internet for the bonus question.

The non-Wiz Khalifa portion of this post is courtesy of the fine folks at Stump Trivia.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pittsburgh's Going To The Super Bowl

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the New York Jets to advance to their 8th Super Bowl in team history. LaMarr Woodley is so happy that he's comfortable carrying around a random helium balloon (at least I think that's what he's carrying) in celebration with Hines Ward.



Are you going to tell LaMarr Woodley that the balloon looks silly? I didn't think so.

Anyway, the Steelers played a nearly perfect first half led by Rashard Mendenhall playing arguably his best game as a Steeler. Ike Taylor and William Gay teamed up for a defensive touchdown late in the second quarter as the Steelers led 24-3 at halftime. I'm just going to ignore the second half.

So now we have two weeks until the Steelers meet the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl 45 in Dallas. Expect this blog to be very heavy on Steelers content over the next few weeks.

Go Steelers!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Myron Cope

The late, great Myron Cope was born on this day in 1929. In honor of his birthday and because the Steelers face the New York Jets this evening in the AFC Championship game, here are two videos featuring the Pittsburgh and broadcasting legend.

I believe that this video was created by NFL Films:



This is Myron's version of The Macarena (Yoi, Steeler Mania). This is by far the best song ever featuring "Yoi, Justin Strzelczyk" in the lyrics.



The Steelers can't lose on Myron's birthday, right? I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

YLDS

Watch the latest Yinz Luv Da Stillers (Baltimore divisional playoff edition) while also watching VH1's Top 20 Video Countdown and get a double-dose of Jim Shearer.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Express Error Game

We're going to play a game today. Instead of me pointing out errors in Express, I want you to find them from the two stories below. Please leave your answers in the comments section below.

Tuesday, February 18, 2011 edition:



Wednesday, February 19, 2011 edition:



Finally, this is not an error, but I find it funny. How do you avoid pickpockets? Put stuff in your pockets, of course!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Steelers-Ravens-Trip To Charleston (Part II)

Welcome to part two of my trip to Charleston and leftover thoughts on the Steelers-Ravens game. Click here to read part one.

I am not an aquarium aficionado, but the South Carolina Aquarium doesn’t come close to the aquariums in Baltimore, Boston, Atlanta or Monterey Bay. However, the South Carolina Aquarium does have Alabaster, an albino alligator, which is definitely something I’ve never seen before. Hmmm, perhaps, I am an aquarium aficionado!


(Alabaster barely moved while we were there, and we weren’t able to get a good picture of him. This picture is from Charleston’s ABC station via “the internet.”)

The aquarium is located right on water, and we saw several dolphins swimming. It was like the dolphins were mocking the other fish and animals. Yes Dan Marino, Mark Clayton & Lousaka Polite mocked Alabaster and friends. It definitely wasn’t Chad Henne; I don’t think he mocks anyone.

I'm not an offensive lineman and I'm not going to play one on the internet, but it seems to me that if you see the football on the ground and do not hear a whistle or see a referee waving his arms to indicate an incomplete pass, you pounce on said ball. Yes, I'm looking at you Ramon Foster.

With the Jets and Steelers meeting in the AFC Championship game, have you seen any articles where Neil O’Donnell, former QB for both teams, offers his take on the game and who he is supporting?

There is a plaque at Fort Sumter that commemorates all of the Federal soldiers that defended the fort during the Civil War’s first skirmish. I noticed that Captain Abner Doubleday was listed as a member of the 1st U.S. Artillery. I made a note of this and decided to see if this Doubleday was any relation to the supposed creator of baseball. Sure enough, it’s the same guy. According to Wikipedia, Abner Doubleday was “a captain and second in command in the garrison at Fort Sumter, under Major Robert Anderson. He aimed the cannon that fired the first return shot in answer to the Confederate bombardment on April 12, 1861, starting the war.” I never knew this.

I also learned that there were exactly zero casualties during the Fort Sumter battle. After the 34-hour siege, Major Anderson agreed to a cease fire (apparently it was not a surrender) in which the South Carolina troops took over Fort Sumter. The Federal forces were permitted to return to New York, but before leaving, performed a cannon salute. One of the cannons exploded prematurely causing the first fatality of the Civil War. Yes, the first Civil War death occurred during a ceremony.

The College of Charleston has a Cougar Club. Insert your own joke here (or actually in the comments section).

We stayed at the Embassy Suites in Charleston which is located in the original Citadel Military College. Pretty cool.



When is it a 15-yard penalty for blocking a player to the ground (Hines Ward on Ed Reed)? When is it not a penalty for head butting an opposing player (Ike Taylor on T.J. Houshmandzadeh)? Was the non-call on Taylor a make-up from the first penalty?

Doris Roberts, best known as Ray Romano’s mother on Everybody Loves Raymond, is now featured in a series of Zaxby’s commercials that were shown regularly during the Steelers-Ravens game. I really don’t understand using Doris Roberts as your celebrity spokesperson in commercials during football games, but I’m not Don Draper, so what do I know?

While I didn't actually see a Zaxby's (solid fast food restaurant in my opinion), I did locate, but not eat in, a Waffle House and Little Caesar’s. If only my vacation lasted longer!

Major plus for Charleston: Free trolley service to get around downtown!

Although we did not see a South Carolina Stingrays hockey game, there was apparently some type of youth hockey tournament in town. We met a family where the parents were originally from Pittsburgh and the father and son wore Penguins gear. It was cool (and somewhat random) talking to the father about the Penguins in the middle of South Carolina. (Well, technically the eastern coast of South Carolina.)

The Steelers were a different team coming out in the second half. I'd love to know what was said in the locker room during halftime.

That pretty much wraps up my trip to Charleston. Very cool city if you have a chance to visit. I didn't even mention the beautiful Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, the good restaurants, and overall friendliness of everyone there. In addition, I can't wait for Sunday's AFC Championship!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Steelers-Ravens Playoff Recap (Notes From Charleston)

It may seem silly to write/read a recap of the Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens playoff match-up four days after the game finished. I know that you’ve already moved on from this game to this weekend’s AFC Championship, so I thought that I would include notes about my Charleston, South Carolina vacation with thoughts about the Steelers-Ravens game.

Thanks to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s list of Steelers bars, I found a place, King Street Grille, located only a few blocks from the hotel to watch the game. I even called King Street Grille twice to make sure that they were in fact a Steeler bar. We arrived at the restaurant to find an American flag and a Steelers flag hanging from the building. Good sign! I also visited the restaurant’s website prior to game and saw the picture below on the top of the main page. Very good sign!



However, I’m not convinced that King Street Grille is truly a Steeler bar. When I go to a Steeler bar, I expect there to be only Steelers fans. I expect there to be loud cheers when the Steelers make a big play and silence (or swearing) when the opposing team scores a touchdown. Yes, the majority of people in the bar wore Steelers jerseys but there were also a significant amount of folks wearing Ravens gear and/or supporting the Ravens. Therefore, I was not pleased to hear cheers when the Ravens scored. I may be spoiled by The Pour House in Washington, DC and Fast Eddie’s in Fairfax, Virginia.

My theory is that King Street Grille is the only (or best) sports bar in downtown Charleston; therefore, it can’t truly be a Steeler bar since the restaurant attracts fans for all sports. For example, I learned that the place was packed prior to the Steelers game because of a University of South Carolina-University of Florida college basketball game. I’m just glad that the football and college basketball games didn’t overlap.

Oh, an indication that a restaurant isn’t a Steeler bar: I had a beer in a Carolina Panthers glass featuring Panthers’ “Past Great” Steve Beuerlein.

Ike Taylor may be the most underrated cornerback in the NFL. He is never selected to a Pro Bowl and is overshadowed by defensive teammates Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley and others. It seems like the only time I read something about Taylor is when he drops interceptions. Taylor quietly does his job, which generally consists of shutting down the opponent’s top receiver. Did you happen to notice the stats put up by Ravens’ receivers on Saturday? Houshmandzadeh, Mason and Boldin combined for only 4 catches and 41 yards. Taylor deserves a lot of credit for this.

My wife (and by my wife, I mean me and my wife) gets very excited when the announcer points out plays made by Ziggy Hood. Ziggy seemed to be everywhere against the Ravens. He also seems to be everywhere in our house. Even in this picture, he's just taking a break in the huddle before the next play.



This is not meant as a slight to Daniel Sepulveda, but if I was an NFL GM looking for a punter, I want Sam Koch on my team even if he spells/pronounces his name incorrectly. Koch is the former New York City mayor. If your last name is pronounced Cook, there should not be an “H.”

I love U.S. history, so visiting Fort Sumter was cool. What I found interesting was a pamphlet the National Park Service distributed to guests about being safe (ex. Watch your step and climbing is unsafe). The pamphlet also warned visitors to beware of fire ant mounds. Awesome! You don’t see that at the Liberty Bell now, do you?

The pamphlet did not include a warning about the bathroom sinks on the island. The water coming from the Fort Sumter sinks was freezing. I’m surprised that ice cubes didn’t shoot out.

Pittsburgh’s James Harrison and Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs are both beasts. The only difference in favor of Harrison is that he generally did his damage against a 1st round draft pick with a movie made about his life while Suggs dominated back-up offensive linemen. Forget this previous sentence; I’ll call it a draw.

There was a huge scare during the first quarter. I thought I dropped nacho cheese on my black Louis Lipps jersey, but it turned out that the cheese spilled harmlessly on the black napkin.

Where does Antonio Brown’s 58-yard, pinned against the helmet catch rank in Steelers history? It can’t be a top 5 catch (Immaculate Reception and Super Bowl catches by Swann, Stallworth and Holmes are definitely more important), but I think it could be among the top 10.



This is a really long post, and I’m not even close to finishing. Join me tomorrow for more about the Steelers and my trip to Charleston.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Trivia Tuesday

Even though the DC area is paralyzed by the overnight snow/ice storm, that won’t stop me from posting Trivia Tuesday. Your challenge this week is to name the television show based on the episode titles listed below.

1. The Parking Garage; The Contest; The Junior Mint; The Face Painter

2. The Show When Lillith Comes Back; The Show When Diane Comes Back; Ham Radio; Bad Dog

3. We’re On the Road to D’ohwhere; The Otto Show; Behind the Laughter; A Fish Called Selma

4. The Tattletale; Ghost Town USA; The Subject Was Noses; The Hair-Brained Scheme; Adios, Johnny Bravo

5. My Nightingale; My Fruit Cups; My Malpractice Decision; My Hypocritical Oath

6. Cell Test; At the End of the Tunnel; Manhunt; Rendezvous

7. The Buffalo Convention; The Great Gazoo; Ann Margrock Presents; The Monster from the Tar Pits

8. The Other 48 Days; S.O.S.; House of the Rising Sun; Adrift

9. North by North Quahog; Fast Times at Buddy Cianci Jr. High; Saving Private Brian; Petergeist

10. No Way, It’s Jose; Strange Love; Tawny Takes on Flo: Part 1; Brande Needs a Man

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

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

Friday, January 14, 2011

Two Videos

My post titles are becoming less and less imaginative. Anyway, I really want to write a recap from attending the Pitt-Georgetown game on Wednesday night, but I haven't had the time. Maybe next week. Instead, here are (yes, you guessed it) TWO VIDEOS.

The first video is "Hot Mess" by what I think is a soon to be major band, Chromeo. Perhaps they are already big, but I just learned of them. The video has a bit of a Robert Palmer vibe going.



The second video is Jim Shearer's latest Yinz Luv Da Stillers. The last twenty seconds may be the best work Jim has ever done.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cool Video

If you’re a fan of Katy Perry, a cappella groups and/or elementary school choruses, the video below is for you. Even if these three things are not among your “Likes” on Facebook, this is still a cool video/song. Ithacappella, the all-male a cappella group at Ithaca College, joined forces with the PS22 Chorus, an elementary school chorus from Public School 22 in Graniteville, Staten Island along with former PS22 Chorus member Adiza, who is now a member of Ithaca College's all-female choir, Premium Blend. Check out the result:



PS22 Chorus has more information about this collaboration and other videos on its blog.


Unrelated to the video, I'm still looking for suggestions about my questions from yesterday's post. Any help is appreciated.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Three Questions

I need some advice. Let's go to the phones.

1. Do you have any suggestions on things to do if you have a 3+ hour layover at the Atlanta airport? Feel free to include some sarcastic answers, but seriously, where's a good place to eat if you have so much time available?

2. What should you see and do in Charleston, SC if you'll only be there for 2 days?

3. Hypothetically, let's say there is a company replacing your shower. In the process of the construction, there are now several loose tiles on the floor outside the shower that were not loose before the project started. When I, I mean, hypothetically, approached the company about this, you are told that it is not recommended to try to remove individual tiles throughout the floor since the installation is typical builders grade which means that everything will start to come loose when chiseling tiles out. Hypothetically, you are given an option to replace the entire floor for an additional sum of money. Do you have any recourse about trying to replace these loose tiles without paying to replace the entire floor which you don't want to do? Or are you now stuck with loose tiles?

Please leave your answer(s) in the comments section below. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Trivia Tuesday: Name The Band

Welcome to the first Trivia Tuesday of 2011. In honor of today’s date, 1/11/11, all of the answers will feature the number one. Actually, that would likely make for a terrible quiz. Instead, listed below is the origin of ten popular band names. Your challenge is to name the bands.

1. Named after a low-budget 1964 horror film.

2. A palindrome acronym of the first names of the band.

3. A group of kinetic sculptures that makes music when wind blow through them.

4. Based on a character in the cult film “Barbarella.”

5. A nickname for unidentified flying objects during WWII.

6. Named after an annoying gym coach the band members had in high school.

7. Named after a George C. Scott movie from 1971.

8. Named after a Talking Heads song.

9. Named after a store in New Jersey (where the band is from).

10. Named after a pleasure device form the book “Naked Lunch.”

As always please leave your answers in the comments section below and do not use the internet for assistance. If the questions prove to be too difficult, I'll share some clues later.

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

Monday, January 10, 2011

State of the Ramblings

Saturday marked the sixth anniversary of Sean’s Ramblings. If my blog was a kid, she would be in kindergarten. Therefore, in honor of my sixth anniversary, I present to you a picture of number six himself, Bubby Brister!



Actually, for my blog anniversary I’d like to share my annual State of the Ramblings. Before we go forward, let’s take a look back at the past year. I hosted the second annual Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament in February 2010 and plan to have the third annual event next month. While Trivia Tuesday continues to be a weekly staple, TMI Thursdays slowly have become more and more infrequent. Over the past year, I became a “CSN Preferred Blogger” where CSN Stores has provided gift certificates to their websites as giveaways. I plan to have another giveaway in the next few weeks.

I haven’t had as many collaborative posts this past year as I did in previous years, but I did have a few including predictions for the Pittsburgh Pirates season; thoughts on the Winter Classic; and tweeting of the airing of game seven of the 1960 World Series.

I shared my experiences from several fantastic events such as my hockey road trip to Boston and Long Island (where I met Tec of PSAMP); Stephen Strasburg’s first major league game; traveling to South Florida for the Steelers-Dolphins game; and running my first 5K.


(I'm the middle person in the picture)

Over the past year, I announced my retirement from blogging. It took until late into the day (including a call from my mom wondering if I was serious) for people to realize that it was an April’s Fools joke. My not so serious blogging tone also came through when I encouraged LeBron James to come to Pittsburgh even though the city does not have an NBA team. I originally published this post on BlogCritics where they certainly did not get the joke. I should mention that I started writing on BlogCritics last year. I wrote about ten posts and reviews but I’ve come to realize that I don’t have time to write there as well as here. Even though I still need to write a few book reviews, I’ve made a decision that I’d much rather spend my writing time writing Sean’s Ramblings.

Last summer, I made a decision about this blog that I regret. A company offered to pay me money to write a post to promote their website. I accepted, put a disclaimer on the post explaining that it was written to someone else and didn’t allow for comments. It was a terrible post that is hopefully lost in the archives. Yes, I got paid, but I’m not going to allow this to happen again.

Sadly, the most popular way people found Sean’s Ramblings over the past year was by searching for Erica Blasberg, the late LPGA golfer who was a favorite of mine. Conversely, I was amused by the number of people who found my blog by finding the pictures of Lady Gaga with a Terrible Towel.



Other highlights of the past year:

After Express indicated that Kennywood is located in Philadelphia and refused to issue a correction, I started to highlight all of their errors. This really could become its own blog.

I may or may not be a star in Kittanning, PA after my second appearance on Rizzo Sports Weekly.

I only had one interview over the past year, but I enjoyed the experience of “talking” with Tim Gleason, author of From Black to Gold.

I had a great idea to start a series called “Found In My Basement” where I posted pictures of items I found from years ago. This didn’t last long as our digital camera broke, but I hope that this returns in the coming year.

I learned that Yuengling can be dangerous when the grocery store cashier got her hand caught in my beer.

This leads me to the upcoming year. Last month I posted a major announcement that my wife and I are expecting our first child. This will change my life significantly, even if I have no idea yet of how this will change my life significantly. I expect to get less sleep but this could benefit you. You see being awake in the middle of the night could lead to some interesting new posts. They may not be coherent, but really, is that much different than what I write now?

Thanks again to everyone for reading and commenting. I really appreciate all of your support!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

My Top Songs of 2010

Most people put together their best of the year lists in mid to late-December. Not me! Who cares if we're already into the second week of January 2011? I thought I would put together some of my favorite songs from the past year. Yes, I realize that some of these songs may have been released in 2009, but I'm counting them as 2010. If you don't like it, make your own list!

Wiz Khalifa - Black and Yellow



The Black Keys - Tighten Up



Cee Lo Green - F**k You (very catchy and multi Grammy-nominated song but NSFW, if you couldn't tell by the title)



Taio Cruz - Break Your Heart (featuring Ludacris); I also like his follow-up hit, Dynamite.



Ke$ha - Tik Tok



Mumford and Sons - Little Lion Man (NSFW due to one work in the chorus)



I'm sure that I could include more songs, but six videos in one post is probably four or five too many. Pink's Raise Your Glass, Animal by Neon Trees and anything by Katy Perry (including if she wrote a song of her reading the phone book and made a video of it) also deserve recognition.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Ken Burn: Great American Filmmaker

I'm sure that you're familiar with Ken Burns, the Emmy Award-winning director and producer of documentaries including The Civil War and Baseball. As you can see below, the National Archives is showing three parts of The Civil War by another director, Ken Burn. I wonder if they know each other.



This advertisement was published in Wednesday's Express, but I think this error (assuming that there is not a Ken Burn who created a different The Civil War) falls on the National Archives. Express is off the hook...for now!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Links and More Links

It's been a while since I shared links from around the web, so enjoy these really good articles.

- NPR recently ran a great story about Pittsburgh. Make sure to check out the audio portion too. [NPR]

- Sarah deserves tons of credit. She did a liveblog and review of Snooki's new book. [Smart Bitches, Trashy Books]

- Scientific proof on how to win at Monopoly. [Deadspin]

- My favorite comic strip, Pearls Before Swine, included a reference to Pittsburgh football and superstitions. [PSAMP]

- The top 10 jersey fouls of 2010 including the one pictured below. [Puck Daddy]



- Remember how people made fun of DC and how the area handled Snowmageddon? Well, some of those people included two New York Congressional Representatives. They were rather quiet during New York's recent snowstorm. [DCist]

- After Pitt hired Mike Haywood, Cat Basket decided to call it quits. Now, that Haywood is no longer the football coach, I wonder if the blog will return. [Cat Basket]

- I want this Menorah. [LAist]



- Many of my favorite bloggers have retired over the years. Therefore, it's always nice when they return. Hopefully, Joey Porter's Pit Bulls; Bucs Trade Winds; and Tidbits and the Angry Consumer are back for good.

Finally, check out the latest Yinz Luv Da Stillers:

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

First 2011 Express Error

Happy 2011! To celebrate the New Year, I am proud to share the first Express error of 2011 in just their first edition of the year. The following chart was featured in the Monday, January 3, 2011 edition of Express:



This colorful chart is nice but not accurate. You see, the highest-seeded team to survive this weekend in each conference will play the #2 seed (Pittsburgh in the AFC; Chicago in the NFC) with the lowest seed playing at the #1 seed (New England and Atlanta respectively). Therefore, the winner of the New York Jets-Indianapolis Colts game does not automatically face the Steelers. If the Jets (#6) win, they will play the Patriots while the Steelers will meet either Kansas City or Baltimore.

The actual match-ups should look like this:

IND/BAL/KC at Pittsburgh (January 15th @ 4:30pm)
KC/BAL/NYJ at New England (January 16th @ 4:30pm)

SEA/NO/GB at Atlanta (January 15th @ 8:00pm)
PHI/SEA/NO at Chicago (January 16th @ 1:00pm)

I guess Express didn't want to create such a complicated chart! Those "Winner Plays" arrows are quite fancy.

Click here for more Express errors.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

2010 Sean's Ramblings Visitors

Ever wonder where people live that visit Sean's Ramblings and how people find this blog? Well, here are your results for 2010.

1. Pittsburgh, PA
2. New York, NY
3. Washington, DC
4. Fairfax, VA
5. State College, PA
6. Los Angeles, CA
7. Atlanta, GA
8. London, United Kingdom
9. Philadelphia, PA
10. Chicago, IL

As a comparison, here are where folks visited from in 2009:

1. Pittsburgh, PA
2. New York, NY
3. San-Ch'Ung, Taiwan
4. Washington DC
5. Reston, VA
6. London, United Kingdom
7. Arlington, VA

The number of visitors from Taiwan decreased sharply in 2010; however, I'm happy that there is some West Coast representation with Los Angeles breaking into the top seven.

In addition, here are the top 10 ways people found this blog through internet searches primarily via Google and Yahoo:

1. Erica Blasberg
2. cosi prices
3. seans ramblings
4. hamburger helper rice oriental
5. sean's ramblings
6. vh1 top songs of the 2000s
7. songs with alcohol in the title
8. free birthday food
9. best songs of the 2000's vh1
10. songs with drinks in the title

2009

1. free birthday food
2. fleetwood mac concert review
3. sean's ramblings
4. hamburger helper rice oriental
5. pittsburgh steelers mascot
6. fleetwood mac concert reviews
7. seans ramblings
8. spider pig lyrics
9. dear margo
10. cosi prices

Former LPGA golfer Erica Blasberg searches were far and away the top way folks found this blog in 2010. Naturally, folks were curious about her suspicious death and the circumstances surrounding her "doctor friend." Spider Pig lyrics from The Simpsons Movie finally dropped out of the top 10 while free birthday food and Hamburger Helper Rice Oriental continue to be popular. I'm surprised how many people found by blog through COSI prices. Seems random. Plus, there were hundreds of referrals by people looking for a VH1 show of the top songs of the last decade even though, to my knowledge, VH1 has never aired this type of show.

As we begin 2011, what searches will take over the top spot? Will Pittsburgh and New York continue to rank 1-2? Who are these people from London? Will visitors from Taiwan return?


P.S. Trivia Tuesday will return next week.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Steelers-Browns Recap with TV Notes

Congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers on winning the AFC North division and earning a first round playoff bye by defeating the Cleveland Browns 41-9. It’s rare for an NFL game to be decided less than one minute into the game, but that essentially happened on Sunday. Troy Polamalu intercepted Colt McCoy on the Browns second offensive play, and the Steelers quickly responded on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace. As usual, I have some thoughts about the game and the commercials.

- How did the Browns not realize that the Steelers were going to throw a deep pass to Wallace immediately after the interception? Did they not watch film on the Steelers this season? Everyone at the bar knew Roethlisberger was going deep to Wallace.

- Former Steelers running back Willie Parker was also known as “Fast” Willie Parker. Mike Wallace is faster than Parker ever was, but we don’t seem to call him “Fast” Mike Wallace. This should change. On Twitter yesterday, Cotter suggested Maverick because he "obviously has a need for speed and he flies."

- Cleveland coach Eric Mangini (remember when he was Man-genius?) deserves to be fired simply for his decision to kick a field goal down 14-0 early in the second quarter. The Browns had the ball on Pittsburgh’s 2 yard-line and this move showed that he quit.

- I was also curious about Cleveland’s offensive strategy to start the game. RB Peyton Hillis has been fantastic for the Browns; however, the team decided to run a spread offense during the first few series with Hillis on the sidelines.

- Miller Lite shows a series of commercials where guys either wearing dragon clothes or a “European Man Thong” asks for a light beer. I rarely go to bars anymore, but since when do people order a light beer? Don’t people order a specific brand or the special? I’ve also never seen a bartender ask “More Taste or Less Taste?” followed by the patron saying that he doesn’t care.



- Until watching the game yesterday, I didn't realize that Maurkice Pouncey is the first Steelers rookie to make the Pro Bowl since Kendrell Bell. In a related note, who wants to buy my Kendrell Bell jersey? Did you know that he was the last Steelers rookie to make the Pro Bowl? That's got to make the jersey worth at least $50.

- CBS apparently introduces a brand new Early Show cast today. While I don’t know anyone that watches Early Show and I’m not sure that the new folks will impact ratings, I will give CBS credit for hiring Marysol Castro formerly of Good Morning America Weekend. After Tony Perkins returned to DC, ABC made a poor decision in selecting Sam Champion as the main GMA weather guy over Castro.



- Possibly overlooked in the Steelers dominating performance on Sunday was the fact that the offensive line did not allow a sack when Roethlisberger was the QB and that they had only 3 penalties for 25 yards, none in the first half.

- Dear Lexus: If you have a promotion called December to Remember Sales Event, and it is now January, you should either stop running these commercials or change the name.

- There’s a new Nicolas Cage movie coming out on Friday called Season of the Witch. It doesn’t look very good. When was the last good Nicolas Cage movie with him as the #1 star? Adaptation in 2002? Do we have to go back to Face/Off, Con Air, The Rock or Leaving Las Vegas from the mid to late-1990s?

- I really liked the play call to have Randle El throw the ball in the red zone which turned into a TD pass to Hines Ward. I guarantee that the Steelers will use a similar formation in a playoff game, faking the ball to Randle El causing several defenders to go to ARE and leaving someone else open.

- Who is the band in the Hyundai Holiday commercials? We’re about to start a search for a new car, and I may avoid Hyundai simply because I am sick of these commercials.

So now the Steelers have a week off before facing the Colts, Chiefs or Ravens on Saturday, January 15th. I hope the Steelers enjoy the well-deserved rest.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2010 Sean's Ramblings Year In Review

Welcome to my 6th 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 2010.

January - Welcome to my first post of 2010! I posed this question back in August, but I think it's time for us to come to a consensus on what to call 2010. I'm leaning towards either 10 or twenty-ten.

February - Between the Grammy Awards and the Penguins and Pitt games, Sunday was a good television day.

March - In an extremely close championship, Bucs Dugout defeated WHYGAVS 50.7% to 49.3% to win the 2nd annual Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament. Bucs Dugout joins last year’s winner, The Pensblog, in the pantheon of Pittsburgh sports blogs.

April - I figure TMI Thursday is as an appropriate time and place as any to make an announcement. After 1,525 posts over 5+ years, I am ending my time at Sean’s Ramblings. (Sean's note: If you didn't figure it out, this post was an April's Fools joke.)

May - Here are some links to start your week. Instead of receiving $5.9 million in 1999, due to a cash shortage, the Mets worked out a deal to defer Bobby Bonilla's salary. Therefore, the Mets will pay Bobby Bo $1,193,248.20 every July 1 from 2011 to 2035. That's nearly $30 million. Good for him.

June - Welcome to June! I'm sure that you could be outside enjoying the nice weather (assuming that the weather is nice in your neighborhood today) or even working. However, coming off the holiday weekend, wouldn't you rather see how well you know the past decade?

July - While working as a soccer referee on Wednesday night, there was an ice cream truck in the parking lot. After running around on a warm, summer day, there's nothing like a refreshing treat from the ice cream truck. Plus, the familiar music of the ice cream truck takes you back to when you were a kid.

August - I spent the past few days in Tucson, Arizona, so I thought I would share my thoughts about the trip. Everyone said that even though Tucson would be hot, it would be a dry heat. Well, there was actually some humidity since it is Monsoon season. There's also a southern Arizona city named Dragoon, so yes, there was a monsoon in Dragoon.

September - Although TMI Thursdays are a thing of the past, I figure that this story about my health may qualify as too much information. A few weeks ago, I had some discomfort on my right side. I thought that I may have had an appendicitis, but I figured that I would have been in significantly more pain if that was the case.

October - A significant portion of my family is from East Liverpool, Ohio, most famous for being the "Pottery Capital of the World" and the hometown of former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz.

November - In November 2009, I grew a moustache for Movember to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong Foundation. This November, I am participating in NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month.

December - Have you ever noticed that local news seems to have “Breaking News” nearly every day?


As usual, it seems like I wrote about a wide variety of topics. 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!