Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trivia Tuesday: Alphabet Edition

I never watched 24, but it seemed like most of the commercials for the show featured Kiefer Sutherland yelling that “There’s no time.” That’s how I feel about the introduction this week…There’s no time!!!

Listed below is a word that matches the phonetic spelling for a letter of the alphabet. Your challenge is to provide the word, not the letter.

1. Carrot pal

2. Red is one

3. How come?

4. Female merino

5. A line of people

6. Sacramento’s daily

7. It may have floaters.

8. Darjeeling or Ceylon

9. Fonzie’s catchphrase

10. The Babe Ruth of Japanese baseball

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.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fantasy Football Songs

Are you like me and preparing for the fantasy football season? If you answered yes, here are three songs to (maybe?) get you pumped up for the year.

This is probably my favorite of the three just because of the Bobby Wade reference.



Hey, it's that Arlington rap guy rapping about fantasy football. By the way, the draft kit board is awesome!



This last video has a few naughty words, so it may be NSFW.



Good luck to all you fantasy football players everywhere!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Links and The Earthquake

I could share my story about where I was for the East Coast earthquake, but it really isn't exciting. Actually, I do find it funny (and possibly stupid) that I felt the need to check Facebook to see where the earthquake hit and if everyone was okay instead of evacuating the building. Anyway, I went to bed late Tuesday night after watching earthquake coverage, working on a blog post and falling asleep on the couch (this is a frequent occurrence). I finally went upstairs around 12:45 AM with Ziggy joining me in bed and laying by my feet. Less than two minutes later, I thought I felt some shaking, but since Ziggy didn't move (he apparently flew through the house to hide under the bed during the Tuesday afternoon earthquake), I didn't think much of it. Sure enough, The Washington Post indicated that it was a 3.4 magnitude aftershock. Apparently, there was a 4.5 aftershock on Wednesday night, but I slept through it. (You'll be happy to know that I did not sleep through my baby crying around 4:00.)

Meanwhile, I went to the fitness center on Tuesday evening for my quarterly fitness assessment. Amazingly, while I gained 1.5 pounds over the past three months, my body mass index decreased 1.1% meaning that my weight went up due to increased muscle mass despite minimal exercise over the past quarter. The only explanation I have is the constant lifting and carrying of an infant has improved my strength.



How about some links for your Friday?

Where were you for the earthquake? Ngewo was in the bathroom. Some language is NSFW since Ngewo was, well, in the bathroom. [Ngewo's World]

Californians Are Being Insufferable About This Earthquake [Gawker]

The P-G profiles Mac Miller and Frick Park Market. Frick Park's blue slide, shown briefly in the new video, is my all-time favorite playground ride. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Tecmo discovers a Pittsburgh Penguins yarmulke. I really should get a Pirates, Steelers or Penguins kippah to compete with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Yankees ones at Rosh Hashanah. [PSAMP]

The Pensblog guys do an amazing guest spot on Yahoo's Puck Daddy. [Puck Daddy]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lou Reed Looks Fantastic (Express Fail)

Velvet Underground front man Lou Reed and Metallica are working together on a new album. I'm interested to hear the end result. In the meantime, Express shared the upcoming album name (Lulu) along with pictures of Reed and Metallica lead singer James Hetfield. Judging by the picture, I was surprised to see that Reed looks younger, changed his hair color to red, and appears more effeminate.



You can fulfill all of your Express Fail needs by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Best Names in Steelers History

For no apparent reason, I am proud to introduce the all-time greatest names in Pittsburgh Steelers history. Please note that this is not in any particular order with the exception of #1.

Tunch Ilkin

There’s no better way to start this list than by including probably the only player in Steelers history born in Istanbul (not Constantinople). This two-time Pro Bowler would have made this list even if his last name was Smith or Black. Actually, Tunch Black is a pretty awesome name.



Hines Ward

Anytime a player shares his name with an international company based in Pittsburgh and plays in a stadium with the same name (even if spelled differently), he makes the list. If I ever create the all Pittsburgh Pirates name team, PNC Jones would definitely be on it.

Troy Polamalu

Polamalu. It just rolls off the tongue. In case you were wondering, including Troy is an excuse to share this song again.



Orpheus Roye

This list would not be complete without a player named for (according to pantheon.org) “the greatest musician and poet of Greek myth whose songs could charm wild beasts and coax even rocks and trees into movement.” If Roye ran straight at a rock or tree, I think they would move for him too.



If I created an all-nickname team, Jerome “The Bus” Bettis, Beltin’ Delton Hall and Mean Joe Greene all would have easily made the cut. However, I’m sure if any of these former players introduced themselves to you, they would say, Hi. I’m Jerome, Delton or Joe respectively. They wouldn’t say I’m The Bus, Beltin’ Delton or Mean Joe at a dinner party or church. This brings us to a special group of individuals on my all-name team who would go by their nickname in almost all occasions.

Willis Hope Thompson
Evander Hood
Walter Andrew Brister III
Byron Morris
John Fuqua


You just can’t have an all-name team without Weegie, Ziggy, Bubby, Bam & Frenchy!

Deon Figures

I love names that can also be a phrase or sentence.

Kimo von Oelhoffen

Sorry Bengals fans.

Antwaan Randle El

El yeah!



Dwayne Woodruff

The only reason Woodruff makes this list is because my brother and I used to refer to him as Woodel Woodel growing up. I have no idea why. Maybe I had trouble pronouncing “ruff” which might explain why I called that crime dog McWoodel.

Plaxico Burress
Crezdon Butler
Chidi Iwuoma


These three players would likely compete with Tunch and Orpheus for the greatest first name in team history.

Louis Lipps

One of my favorite players in team history. For the longest time, I also thought that the restaurant Hot Licks was actually named Hot Lipps after the Steelers wide receiver.



Walter Abercrombie

It’s nice to see that he’s done well after his playing days by teaming up with Mr. Fitch in creating a clothing company.

Yancey Thigpen

The first name Yancey or the last name Thigpen alone probably wouldn’t make the list. Yancey and Thigpen together: magic!

Franco Harris

I can’t exclude a man who has his own Italian army.



We’ve now come to the greatest name in Steelers history. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce



Just kidding.



Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala

This is clearly and I would say unanimously the top name in Steelers history. Chris Berman and the ESPN football crew are a little tired these days; however, the highlights of them saying that this running back was a bad Mala Fala still makes me smile. Besides, Fuamatu-Ma’afala is only one of two Steelers that has an apostrophe in his name. (The other is the memorable Ta'ase Faumui, a fourth round draft pick in 1994. You don’t remember Faumui?)

Please note that this list is for entertainment purposed only. Don’t freak out if I missed someone. With that written, please share players I missed in the comments section below.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Trivia Tuesday: Name the Artist

Although I remain undecided about the future of Trivia Tuesday, I still continue to roll out new editions. I just can't quit TT! Your challenge today is to name the artist based on the Mr./Mrs./Miss song titles below with the year the songs were released.

1. Mrs. Robinson (1968)

2. Mr. Roboto (1982)

3. Miss Independent (2008) - The answer is not Kelly Clarkson

4. Mr. Brownstone (1987)

5. Ms. Jackson (2001)

6. Mr. Grieves (1989)

7. Mr. Jones (1993)

8. Mrs. Officer (2008)

9. Miss Murder (2006)

10. Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)


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.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Conversation with a Wegmans Cashier (I’m Not Old!)

This is an actual conversation that I had with a male Wegmans cashier in his late teens/early 20s on Sunday afternoon.

Cashier (upon seeing that I’m wearing a Steelers T-shirt) - Are you a Steelers fan?

Me (in my head) - No. Actually, the Baltimore Ravens are my favorite team. There’s nothing I like more than wearing my purple camouflage pants on game days.



Me: Yes. Born and raised in Pittsburgh.

Cashier: That’s cool. Some of my favorite artists are from Pittsburgh. They’re more my generation. I like Wiz Khalifa.

Me (in my head) – Like other people of my generation, I listen to Pat Boone and Bing Crosby regularly on my record player.

Me - and Mac Miller?

Cashier (amazed that I knew Wiz Khalifa & Mac Miller) – Yeah. He’s awesome.

Me - They both went to the same high school. I have some friends who went there too. I’m always amazed that these two rappers went to Allderdice. (Yes, I’m dropping knowledge on you, son!)



Casher- Cool. Did you know they’re filming the new Batman in Pittsburgh?

Me (in my head) – I’m sorry. Bat man? Is this some sort of an experiment where someone breeds a bat and a man and they film it? Interesting.

Me (alternative thought) - You mean one the biggest movie in the world? I had no idea. Maybe I would have known if I read my blog.

We ended up talking about the film and his disappointment about seeing so much online already. (Perhaps Andy Greenwald was right.) He was also quite excited about the $5 coupon I had for Similac formula, although he needed assistance from a manager to enter the specific code. Additionally, the cashier stated that he only got three hours of sleep last night. Good times all around!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Calling All Alcoholics

If you drink alcohol, these two advertisements directly next to each other in Tuesday's Express are for you:



I wonder if Express put these ads next to each other intentionally. My guess is no.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fighting Batman and Other Links

There is a bit of a ridiculous article on Grantland titled "Dear Pittsburgh: Leave Batman Alone" critical of how folks are treating the filming of Batman. I have seen no complaints from anyone associated with the film as they, especially the movie company, probably love the buzz. Anyway, I felt the need to contact the author, but since he didn't have an e-mail address posted, I contacted Grantland directly.

Dear Grantland,

I am writing to respond to the “Dear Pittsburgh: Leave Batman Alone” column by Andy Greenwald. While I agree with the premise of the story that Pittsburghers should let the filmmakers work in peace, there are certain aspects that make this request impractical. First, the film used nearly 10,000 extras to fill Heinz Field for the football scenes. When you incorporate several Pittsburgh Steelers, including QB Ben Roethlisberger and Dancing with the Stars Champion Hines Ward, along with Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and former coach Bill Cowher, into the movie, that’s national news which will naturally receive coverage. If Cleveland brought out their football stars, um Peyton Hillis and Colt McCoy, for the filming of Avengers, you would see the same pictures and videos throughout the internet, including the Hollywood Reporter. (Perhaps Cleveland Browns “stars” is a poor example though.)

There is one particular part of the article that is a bit hypocritical. The column starts with a video of the Batwing “flying” through the streets of Pittsburgh. If the author wants people to leave Batman alone, why share the video that is doing the exact opposite by rewarding the individuals who filmed the Batwing and showing off spoilers that people may not want to see?

Sean


I actually received a reply:

Sean,

Thanks for the feedback. You are far from the only person who had that reaction. We’re working on getting our commenting system up and running, but until then, you can respond to Andy directly on our Facebook page. We’re going to talk to him about diving in and answering some of the questions/criticisms leveled at him there too.

http://www.facebook.com/GrantLand33

All best,
The Editors


I didn't feel the need to post my e-mail on Facebook, but I'm curious to see if the author responds.

Speaking of Batman, check out the very cool pictures (like the one below) of the Bat signal with the Pittsburgh skyline. Actually, don't look because you may bother Andy Greenwald. [That's Church]



Congratulations to Get Fresh Designs on five years of blogging. Buy one of his cool T-shirts! [Get Fresh Designs]

An interview of Ron Lippock of the Pittsburgh Daily Sports Bulletin [Behind the Steel Curtain]

Not only are there six Woodland Hills football players almost certain to play in the NFL this season, but there are also four other graduates in training camp and three others about to start playing at Pitt. Go Wolverines! [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

This is funny. [h/t Puck Daddy]

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ted Marshall Open Champion

In one of the greatest achievements of my life, I won the 2010-2011 Ted Marshall Open! I’m sure you are in awe of this accomplishment and feel privileged to read the blog of a champion.* For those of you not familiar with the Ted Marshall Open, it is an annual contest to see who can guess how many television shows will be canceled (or not renewed) during the season. In my fifth year of participating in the Open, I finished first out of 87 entries. Not too shabby!

I’d like to thank CBS for making the excellent decision not to renew Bleep My Dad Says. ABC deserves credit for putting V out of its misery, even though I enjoyed the show and was intrigued to see a how a third season would begin after the show killed off several important characters in the season finale. Oh well.

Most of my selections this past season were shows that you probably never heard of unless you are a student of television or a Ted Marshall Open participant yourself. I did much more research than I probably should have, but it was worth it for a significant cash and prizes I’ll receive as the winner. Not sure why those cash and prizes haven’t appeared yet, but I’m sure they are in tomorrow’s mail.

I’m hoping to defend my title and become a repeat Ted Marshall Open champion. I encourage you to enter as it truly is a different way to watch television. For example, I don’t really like the commercials for a certain new show debuting on NBC this fall. I’m actively hoping that the network cancels the show after an episode to two. Doesn’t that sound like fun? (The answer is yes.) Besides, don’t you want to follow the action of how Two and a Half Men fares without Charlie Sheen? Are you curious about “throwback” shows like The Playboy Club, Pan Am and Charlie’s Angels?

Anyway, I hope that you'll join/challenge me by signing up for the 2011-2012 Ted Marshall Open TV death pool by August 31st.


* Please disregard the dozens of times when I was not a champion of fantasy baseball and football leagues.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Football Version of Tommy John Surgery?

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed former New York Jet wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery last week. This move is expected to help bring experience and depth to the Steelers’ wide receiving corps. The Post-Gazette has a nice article about Cotchery today, but it was this sentence that jumped out to me.

Cotchery's numbers declined last season because of his back injury -- he also led the Jets with eight dropped passes, according to Stats Inc. -- but he had surgery in February to correct the problem.

Despite the dashes including in this text, I’m not the only person who read this as Cotchery getting surgery to help correct dropped passes, am I?



Look at the focus in Cotchery's eyes!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Who You Gonna Call?

I saw a Virginia license plate yesterday that read: GOVEGAN

I applaud the driver for creating a plate in the hope of encouraging Egon Spengler to become Virginia's Governor, even if he/she spelled Egon incorrectly.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

10 Years in Washington (Part One)

10 years ago last week, I moved to the Washington DC area, specifically Fairfax County, Virginia, with my girlfriend. We didn’t exactly have a long-term plan, but I figured that we’d be in Washington for a few years and move somewhere else. After a few years, we got married and bought a place. Earlier this year, we had our first child. We both like our jobs, so even though I’ll always consider myself a Pittsburgher, it looks like we’ve made Washington (well, Fairfax County) our home. This is a bit of a reflection on the past ten years.


(Please disregard the arrow by Kensington; This was the best map I found.)

I didn’t have a job when I moved here, so while I sent my resume and cover letter to dozens of places, I paid the bills through temp jobs. My first position was demonstrating how to play a Harry Potter board game at Springfield Mall. I enjoyed the job, but it only lasted three days. My first long-term temp position was primarily spent doing data entry at an educational organization in Alexandria. That’s where I was for 9/11.

Driving to the office, I heard about the first plane crashing into the first tower while listening to Howard Stern. I arrived in the office when the second plane hit. Getting information online was pointless as any news website was extremely slow at best. We listened to the news via radio since the company didn’t have a television. I remember there being a ton of incorrect information reported that day. There was a report of something going on in Pittsburgh, terrorists on a plane in Cleveland and a bombing at the State Department. All of these turned out to be false, but the Twin Towers falling, a plane hitting the Pentagon and another plane crashing near Shanksville, PA were very real. With no one working and cell phone service non-existent (I didn’t even have a cell phone then), the company let us go home around noon. It was a surreal ride home. I worked only about seven miles from the Pentagon and could smell burnt metal in the air. The roads were packed but extremely quiet as no one honked their horns. It was the exact opposite of how traffic usually flows around here.



Things slowly returned to normal in the DC area until approximately a year later when John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo entered our lives. The Washington sniper attacks terrorized the entire area. Over a three week period, ten people were randomly killed and three others injured in Washington, Maryland and Virginia. The entire region was paralyzed as there truly was no rhyme or reason as to why the victims were shot. I worked two jobs at that time including night and weekend shifts at Blockbuster. Part of my responsibilities at the end of the shift was to clean the store windows from the outside. With no on around late at night at a store located not far from the Beltway, in the back of my mind, I worried about being the next victim. Actually, I was probably more upset that I would be identified in the news and obituary as a Blockbuster employee despite having a Masters degree among my accomplishments.

Sorry to focus on the negative and depressing, but 9/11 and the DC Sniper really stand out as the most significant events to occur since I moved to DC. However, I have much more to write. Therefore, consider this part one. I plan on sharing thoughts about being a Pittsburgh sports fan in DC, reliving my California Tortilla experience and trying to determine whether or not I qualify as a Washingtonian in a future entry.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sean on Rizzo Sports Live

I made my triumphant return to the airwaves last night as a guest on Rizzo Sports Live broadcast in Kittanning, Pennsylvania. Although it appears that the Family Life TV website isn't currently streaming live (or even archive) videos due to website maintenance, you can listen to a replay of my appearance at 12:30 PM Eastern time today on WTYM 1380 AM. Yes, you should be able to listen to the broadcast from your computer.

If you happen to listen to the show, please let me know what you think. Do I sound knowledgeable about the Steelers, Pirates, NFL and US Soccer? I didn't work in nearly as many zings as I would have liked. Actually, I'm not sure that I threw in any jokes. I know that I said, "Donovan's getting older; Dempsey's getting older; and Howard's getting older." I should have followed that by saying that I'm getting older too or that the Landslide will bring them down or something. Missed opportunity.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Trivia Tuesday: Ice Cold Edition

The temperatures in the DC area have been in the 90s the past few weeks, so what’s more appropriate than having trivia questions related to freezing?

1. Slang used in baseball to refer to a hard-hit line drive.

2. Singer who hit the Top 10 in 1998 with “Frozen,” the lead single from her first album in four years.

3. Frozen beverage notably sold by Del’s, a chain of storefronts and carts founded by Angelo DeLucia.

4. Superhero villain played on television by George Sanders, Otto Preminger, and Eli Wallach.

5. Medical ailment known by the scientific name spheno-pala-time gang-lio-neur-al-gia.

6. Big Ten university that has won the Frozen Four hockey championship nine times, more than any other Division 1 school.

7. 1981 hit song and album for the J. Giles Band.

8. Frozen dairy desert most popular in the early 1990s and introduced by New England dairy H.P. Hood in the 1970s.

9. Inventor who developed a means of freezing fish quickly in the 1920s and is regarded as the inventor of modern frozen food and the namesake of a frozen vegetable brand.

10. Element commonly used for freezing in cryogenics and ice cream making because of its very low freezing point of minus 346 degrees Fahrenheit.


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.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Get Me Gael Monfils

On Sunday, Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic defeated France's Gael Monfils in the Legg Mason Tennis Classic final here in Washington DC. However, the point of this post has nothing to do with any tennis action on the court.

The video below is for the song Hello by Martin Solveig & Dragonette. While it is likely that you've never heard of Martin Solveig and/or Dragonette, there's a good chance that you've heard this catchy song.



You may have noticed that this cool video features cameo appearances by #1-ranked tennis player Novac Djokovic and the aforementioned Gael Monfils. This brings the obvious question: Why Gael Monfils? I can just see the casting director going through the World Tennis rankings and being ecstatic at landing Djokovic to be part of the video. Sure, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal said no, but there are other top players, right? England's Andy Murray passed and Andy Roddick is busy being married to Brooklyn Decker, so now there's a little concern.



The producer inquired about contacting Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi but the director wants a current male player. Uh oh. Maybe 5th-ranked Robin Soderling who reached the French Open finals twice would be interested. No he has another engagement.

Then the casting director had a brilliant idea to get the injury-prone 7th ranked player in the world, Gael Monfils. He's almost a household name based on his semifinal appearance in the 2008 French Open. Monfils was shocked by the invitation, but quickly accepted.

Friday, August 05, 2011

How Michael Dukakis Could Have Won

While I'm going to date myself by the title of this post, this is something that happened only a few days ago. Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, drove a tank over an illegally parked car. According to the brief story in yesterday's Express, "Zuokas says that he is infuriated with motorists who park their luxury cars anywhere they want."



If Democratic Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis drove a tank over a luxury car instead of his tank joy ride, he may very well have defeated George Bush in 1988. I think the History Channel would agree with me.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Random Ramblings & Questions

I’m currently reading the Life of Pi about a shipwrecked teenager who gets stuck alone on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific with a tiger, wounded zebra, orangutan and hyena. It’s a fascinating story that I will likely finish later today. Has anyone else read it? If so, is there any chance this is a true story? I don’t want to search online for an answer in case I read how the book ends somewhere.

The NBA locked out its players. Meanwhile, the WNBA, owned and operated by the NBA, is still active. Why hasn’t the NBA locked out the female players? Shouldn’t the WNBA players strike to support their male counterparts against the same owners?

When will there be a new Harry and the Hendersons film?



I’m not ready to think about fantasy football yet, but most of my leagues have started setting draft dates. Is Adrian Peterson still good and a likely top three draft pick?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Trivia Tuesday Returns

This could be a big week for the future of Trivia Tuesday. The previous editions of Trivia Tuesday have not gone very well, though the subjects may have been less than ideal. I think this week’s questions are fair, so I expect full participation people! Your challenge is to identify these people with the same name. Please note that the spelling of the names may differ in some cases.

1. Star of “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper” and Bad Boy Records rapper.

2. Calvin Klein model and host of “Antiques Roadshow” and “The Moment of Truth.”

3. Singer of the 1986 country hit “Give Me Wings” and U.S. Olympic gold medal winning sprinter.

4. “Shoeless” baseball player and British musician who wondered “Is She Really Going Out with Him?”

5. Wild West outlaw and motorcycle enthusiast who hosted “Monster Garage.”

6. 1930 Grand Slam winning golfer and founder of an evangelical university in Greenville, South Carolina.

7. Host of a 1990’s MTV talk show and Carolina Panthers running back.

8. Folk-pop musician born in Hawai’i and world heavyweight boxing champion from 1908 until 1915.

9. A character referenced in nautical mythology and member of the Monkees.

10. Director of the football parody movie “The Comebacks” and three-time Super Bowl winner.


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.

Monday, August 01, 2011

What Happened to Debbie Gibson?

It seems like only days ago when I wrote about my excitement of the return of Debbie Gibson. After seeing her performance on Friday's Good Morning America, I'm not as enthusiastic. Take a look.



Let's start with the positive. Debbie really looks great. It was also nice of her to give Right Said Fred some work. However, Debbie doesn't sound nearly as good as she did 20 years ago. In addition, why exactly is she rapping in the middle of Only in My Dreams? I don't get it.

This performance reminded me of Sophie B. Hawkins on the underrated and underappreciated NBC show Hit Me Baby One More Time. (I have no idea why I can remember parts of this show but I can't remember what I ate for dinner last night.) Hawkins starts off fine but quickly started losing her breath. In response, she decides to turn on the sex appeal by taking off her shirt and waving it over her head.

Through the power of YouTube, I found the video. (It is suitable for work unless your HR department frowns upon Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover. My description makes it sound much more risqué than it is.)



Notice any similarities between the two performances?