Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Sean's Ramblings Year In Review

Welcome to my 8th annual (yes 8th!) year in review, where I take the first few lines of the first entry of each month in order to produce a random and (hopefully) interesting summary of 2012.

January - Although the Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 13-9 Sunday, the Baltimore win against the Cincinnati Bengals means that the Ravens earned the AFC North Division title and a first round bye.

February - You're familiar with the nursery rhyme Row, Row, Row Your Boat, right? If not (and seriously, how can you not know this song?), here are the lyrics

March - Celebrate Fairfax, Northern Virginia’s largest festival, announced its headliners for the 30th annual event taking place on June 8-10 at the Fairfax County Government Center. I am quite excited by the line-up.

April - I’m on a neighborhood message board which is often useful but can sometimes be a little ridiculous. Take a look at the messages from last week with some of my commentary.

May - We haven’t had many responses to Trivia Tuesday recently. Are the questions too easy or too difficult? Regardless, I sense that you’ll do well this week.

June - We recently visited New Jersey for the Memorial Day weekend and had a great time. That’s not of the point of this post, though. New Jersey is one of the last places (along with Oregon, I believe) that requires full service when you get gasoline.

July - During the summer between my Junior and Senior years of college, I worked as an intern for Congressman Mike Doyle at one of his Western Pennsylvania offices.

August - The Pittsburgh Pirates continued their amazing season by acquiring three new members to the team on Monday night and Tuesday. Most analysts never thought the Pirates would be so aggressive in adding these players to help the team compete for the playoffs for the first time since 1992, but the team has proved critics wrong all season.

September - Dear US Open, First, let me congratulate you on another exciting US Open. Now that I got the obligatory nice sentence out of the way, let’s get down to business.

October - While I'm not sure if I'm truly ready to make Trivia Tuesday a weekly feature again, I found this fun game titled Know Your States. Your challenge is simply (or not so simply) to place the U.S. state on the map

November - Although my wife doesn’t like being the subject of many blog posts, she thought that I should share this story about her recent trip to our neighborhood grocery store.

December - I apologize for posting my picks a little late today. Of course, if you're using my picks for your own personal gambling, then I'm really sorry.

There you go. Have a Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sean's Week 17 Picks

Well, we're at the final week of the NFL's regular season. If you followed my picks all season, you know that I'm not that good at this. I went 9-7 in week 15 and 8-8 in week 16 meaning that my overall record is 116-117-6 this year. Let's see if I can finish over .500.


Enjoy your Sunday!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Help Bring Sonic To Northern Virginia

I like Sonic. They have solid food at very reasonable prices. I particularly like the milkshakes and the Sonic Blasts. Unfortunately, living in Northern Virginia, I need to drive more than 40 miles to either Fredericksburg or Winchester if I ever get a Sonic craving. This is unacceptable! Why isn't there a Sonic in Fairfax, Chantilly, Burke, Arlington, Alexandria, Centreville, Herndon, Reston, or even Springfield?


Therefore, I decided to look into franchise opportunities. Here's the basic information:

•The term of a SONIC franchise is 20 years, plus a 10-year renewal.
•The franchise fee is $45,000, and the total initial investment ranges from $710,000 to $3 million.
•You must have prior or current successful restaurant experience and/or strong entrepreneurial skills.
•Royalty fees are 4 to 5 percent; advertising fees are 5.9 percent.

I definitely don't have this type of disposal income or have prior or current successful restaurant experience unless you count earning free burritos for a year at California Tortilla.

Since I'm not going to open a Sonic franchise myself, I thought the least I could do is start a petition for a Sonic in Northern Virginia. If there is a petition for the Steelers to "throw away" their throwback uniforms, why not this?

Therefore, I encourage you to join this petition on Change.org and help bring Sonic to Northern VA. Thank you!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

TMI Thursday: I Knew You Were Trouble

Taylor Swift has a new single out titled I Knew You Were Trouble, and I can't get the song out of my head. And I'm okay with this. I only first heard this song a few days ago, but I really, really like the chorus. I don't know if it's the way that Taylor sings "I knew you were trouble when you walked in" or just that melody. Regardless I approve.



I just realized that this is the second time I've written that I enjoy a Taylor Swift song. I also liked the first few episodes of the new TV show Nashville. Apparently, I'm turning into a pop country fan!

Although I haven't done a TMI Thursday in some time, feel free to click here for some truly amazing or not-so-amazing stories.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Who Is TJR?

I've written about Pitbull several times before, and "Mr. Worldwide" is back with a new single Don't Stop The Party featuring TJR. Instead of focusing on Pitbull, though, I want to know more about this TJR fellow. Specifically, what does TJR stand for? Theodore "Didn’t Have a Middle Name" Roosevelt? Teddy David Ruxpin? In addition, what does TJR look like? He may or may not be in this video, but I’m just not sure. (Please note that this video could be NSFW since there are scantily-clad* women and shirtless guys.)



I wish there was some way that we could identify TJR. Perhaps he could wear a shirt saying "I’m TJR" or hold a sign with the same message.


* Have you ever heard anyone say unscantily-clad?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trivia Tuesday: Name That Tune Edition

It’s time for your favorite version of Trivia Tuesday! This is your chance to identify the song title and artist based on the ten songs listed below.

1. Do you have the time / to listen to me whine

2. Ooh baby (Ooh baby) It's making me crazy (It's making me crazy) / Every time I look around (Look around) Every time I look around (Every time I look around)

3. Oh Mama I'm in fear of my life from the long arm of the law

4. But when I look into my nephew's eyes / man you wouldn't believe / the most amazing things that can come from / some terrible lies

5. I can't be held responsible. She was touching her face. I won't be held responsible. She fell in love in the first place.

6. Maybe I'm just too demanding / Maybe I'm just like my father too bold

7. And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar. And say, "Man, what are you doin' here?"

8. I'm such a baby cause the Dolphins make me cry

9. That's when the DJ dropped my favorite tune and the Britney song was on / the Britney song was on /the Britney song was on

10. Like Harrison Ford I'm getting frantic / like Sting I'm tantric

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

Monday, December 17, 2012

Catching Up

Congratulations to Mr. Brame for winning four tickets to the Heinz History Center for submitting this #Francoing picture:


Mr. Brame earned bonus points for submitting a #Francoing picture next to Franco #Francoing.

---

I realize that I haven't shared my NFL picks lately. I went a terrible 5-11 in week 13, but rebounded by going 8-7-1 in week 14. Therefore, not including this week (where I'm 9-6 going into the Monday night game), I'm now 99-102-6 on the season.

---

After calling out Bud Recktenwald for being called the Ultimate Steelers Fan and Harvey Aronson for going by "Mr. Steeler," I heard from Mr. Steeler himself thanking me for the press. Anyway, I said that I'd help promote his book so here is the book from Barnes & Noble and Amazon



---

The Steelers also played yesterday. That didn't go well.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Chanukah From The Houston Rockets (Friday Video)

Growing up in Pittsburgh, I never had a favorite NBA team. I loved watching Pitt college basketball (especially the Sean Miller, Demetrius Gore, Jason Matthews, Charles Smith & Jerome Lane days), but as far as the NBA, I only seem to remember seeing the Lakers-Celtics games and later the Detroit Bad Boys and Michael Jordan's Bulls. Therefore, I really don't have a favorite NBA team.

That changes today. Go Houston Rockets (simply for making this video)!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I Don’t Understand The Shipping Process

I purchased an Entertainment Book, which overall seems to have fewer coupons that I use compared to last year, just after Thanksgiving, but had not received the book. Therefore, I contacted the Entertainment Book people about the status of the order, and they provided me with this tracking information.


While you can see that I finally received the book on Wednesday, why did the book need to go from Elkridge, Maryland all the way to Portland, Oregon before arriving at my home? This might make sense if I live on the West Coast, but Maryland borders Virginia and Elkridge is about an hour away from me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Hate College Football (Except When I Don’t)

It’s time for my annual college football rant, but with a slight twist this year. Yes, I’m actually giving credit to whoever finally organized and approved of a playoff system. Unfortunately, the system starting after the 2014 season doesn’t go far enough. There really should be 8 teams minimumly and ideally 16 teams instead of the 4 team playoff. What I find the most Ludacris


I mean ludicrous is the amount of time between the last “regular” season game, including the SEC Championship, and the National Championship game. Notre Dame won at USC on November 24th while Alabama defeated Georgia on December 1st. With the NCAA Championshp game taking place on January 7th, that is 44 and 37 days, respectively, between games. As a comparison, the NFL scheduled the AFC and NFC Championship games on January 20th. Using the same timeline, the Super Bowl would take place on February 26th. That just doesn’t make sense No other sport has such a large gap between the game prior to the Championship and the Championship. A 4-team playoff system won’t help this. I guess that we’re supposed to enjoy the other college football bowl games while we wait.

Anyway, that’s my rant for today. Even though I dislike the current system, I will still participate in Ngewo’s Bowl Game Pick ‘Em and watch some of the bowl games.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Trivia Tuesday: Ohio State Edition

As a reminder, you have until Thursday to enter my new giveaway to win four tickets to the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. Even if you aren’t able to use the tickets yourself, if you win, you can re-gift the prize! So far I have only received one entry, so you have an excellent chance of winning if you enter.

About eight or nine years ago, a friend gave me a set of Ohio State Tailgate Trivia cards which have sat in the passenger side door pocket of my car for those eight or nine years. I figure that it’s about time to throw these away, but I might as well get some use out of these cards before they go. Please note that these questions are through the 2002 season, so Terrelle Pryor or Beanie Wells cannot be the correct answers.

1. What professional team drafted Cris Carter?

2. Who holds the Ohio State record for the most yards rushing in a game?

3. In what year did Ohio Stadium open? (1922, 1932 or 1942)

4. Who holds the Ohio State career record for the most yards rushing?

5. What professional team drafted Eddie George?

6. What position did All-American Tom Tupa play in 1987?

7. What former Pittsburgh Steeler holds the Ohio State season record for the most quarterback sacks?

8. Who holds the Ohio State career record for the most solo tackles?

9. Who holds the Ohio State career record for the most yards receiving?

10. Who is the most recent Ohio State player to win the Heisman Trophy? (This question is not from Tailgate Trivia.)


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

Friday, December 07, 2012

Enjoy Pickles This Chanukah

With Chanukah beginning this weekend, you probably already have your Menorah and candles ready. While you are preparing to spin the dreidels and make and eat latkes, don’t forget to include pickles as part of your Chanukah festivities.

The tradition of eating pickles on Chanukah dates back centuries decades to 1998 in the biblical town of Jerusalem San Diego. On a cold (for San Diego) December day, there was a Kosher Pickle Taste Test at San Diego State University. Hundreds of student, faculty and staff participated in this extremely successful event. The next day, SDSU’s student newspaper, The Daily Aztec, showed pictures of the event on the front page.


And with that, a tradition was born. Help spread this relatively new tradition by eating pickles this Chanukah.

If you celebrate, I wish you and your family a Happy Chanukah!


P.S. This pickle costume also appeared in a late 1990s movie. I believe the movie was Cruel Intentions, but I can’t confirm this.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Homeowners Association Drama

I live in a community within a community. This is often nice since the smaller community takes care of the trash, landscaping, etc. while the larger community has a pool and fitness center. Unfortunately, this also means two different homeowner association fees. Anyway, the smaller of the two communities held its annual meeting last night where there was a power struggle on the Board. As a result, each home received this notice printed on pink on their door yesterday morning which I will share without comment. (The reference to the "P" board is the larger of the two communities.)



Ooooooh, I really want to comment. Can I comment? I said that I wouldn’t, so I won’t. Although I was unable to attend this meeting, it turns out that Elizabeth lost in what was an unprecedented full house for our homeowners association. My guess is that these flyers did not help her cause.

As perhaps a move of reconciliation, the new Board sent an e-mail out last night to help encourage Elizabeth "to continue her valuable contributions and service" on the "P" Board.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Win Heinz History Center Tickets (New Ramblings Giveaway) - Update!

Just in time for the holiday season, I am proud to announce a giveaway where you can win a four-pack of tickets to the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. Heinz History Center is currently running a Francoing photo contest where you can win two tickets to the Steelers-Bengals game on December 23rd among other prizes. You should go the the Heinz History Center's Facebook page for more information and to enter the contest by Thursday December 13th. (The History Center extended their contest deadline, so I did too.)


In addition, you can also send your photos to me at seanramblings at yahoo[dot]com or on Twitter to @seansramblings with the hashtag #Francoing for your chance to win tickets to the Heinz History Center where you can see the Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibit.

Here's the fine print for my contest:

- The winner will either be chosen by me and a panel of Francoing experts or I'll post entries online next week for a vote.
- One entry per person.
- Please submit your pictures by Thursday, December 13th.
- I may post your pictures on this blog.

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Trivia Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone! Your challenge this week is to answer the questions in the picture below.


In case you're wondering, we scored an 8 out of 10.

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 Pub Stumpers.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Sean's Week 13 NFL Picks

I apologize for posting my picks a little late today. Of course, if you're using my picks for your own personal gambling, then I'm really sorry.

Anyway, after going 7-8-1 last week, I'm now 86-84-5 for the season. Here are my week 13 picks:


Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Links

Before I share some great links below, I wanted to share this e-mail I received from Caralyn of Pittsburgh's Heinz History Center.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, the History Center has begun a "Francoing" photo contest. Y'know, like, Tebowing, but more secular and easier on the knees.

Fans can submit photos of themselves Francoing via Facebook, Twitter or Instragram. One winner will receive a prize package that includes 2 tickets to the Steelers vs. Bengals game; a behind-the-scenes tour of the Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame exhibition; a VIP experience at the History Center's “Immaculate Reception Memories” event; and VIP privileges at the Immaculate Reception monument unveiling at Heinz Field. So far we've already received photos from Machu Picchu, Aruba, Prague, and Seattle – but we'd love to see more of Steelers Nation have a shot at this great prize — and participate in honoring the greatest play in NFL history.



Go to the History Center's Facebook page for more information.

On to the links:

An oral history of Cheers. [GQ]

With college majors in theater and dance, why not a major in sports for athletes? [Chronicle of Higher Education]

Neal Coolong, the terrific writer at Behind the Steel Curtain, compares the naming of Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace as a co-starter to his first assignment as a journalist with co-coaches. [Behind the Steel Curtain]

An incredible gallery of vintage pictures of Joe Namath, the pride of Beaver Falls, PA. [Kissing Suzy Kolber]

A day in the life of a Pittsburgh columnist. [Dejan Kovacevic's Blog]

Tim Grierson & Will Leitch list the top 28 Steven Spielberg films. He's made a ton of good movies. [Vulture]

This will happen to you if you don't recycle in Canada: [h/t Puck Daddy]



Enjoy your Friday and weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Conversation With Kordell Stewart

Twitter is great sometimes. In this case, Twitter allows me, your above-average blog writer guy, to directly interact with former Steelers QB Kordell Stewart. Enjoy this fascinating conversation:







Sure, I figured that Stewart meant loop, but I thought it was funny to point out the typo.

The next day, my wife was watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta, and I noticed that a guy that looked like Kordell Stewart was on the show. Here's another fascinating conversation:

Me: Is that Kordell Stewart?
My Wife: Yes.
Me: I had a conversation with him on Twitter yesterday.
My Wife: (no reply...long silence...apparently not impressed by my interaction with Kordell)
My Wife: How long did he play for the Steelers?
Me: About seven years. (He actually played for 8 years.)

It turns out that Kordell Stewart's wife is one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. I guess Kordell's money truly is real good!

Update:

Kordell Stewart liked my blog post. I knew there was a good reason why I still have his jersey!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Videos & A Message From Andrew McCutchen

This video might look like a normal relay race as part of the halftime activities of this weekend's Southampton-Newcastle game, but stay to the end if you like laughing at the misfortunes of others.



This actually reminded me of a Pittsburgh Penguins game I attended years ago where they had people in sumo suits play hockey on ice between periods. I think I fell out of my seat laughing so hard.

(h/t Deadspin)

While this is an absolutely incredible goal by Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden against England, why include music when listening to the announcers and crowd should be enough.



h/t Dejan Kovacevic

Finally, Pittsburgh Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen is excited that Mr. Brame (a friend of Sean's Ramblings) found his wife's car keys. Please take 45 seconds to read the story and hear McCutchen's message.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Where In The World Is Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala?

Watching Sunday's Pittsburgh Steelers game was not a fun experience unless you are a Cleveland Browns fan, I guess. Even in that case, are you really happy about your team's 3-8 record after going 18-46 the past four seasons? At least you have a "young" team led by a rookie 29 year-old QB.

Getting back to the Steelers, if you enjoy watching a professional team have eight turnovers in one game, then perhaps you did enjoy seeing the Steelers on Sunday. The fact that all four Steelers running backs lost a fumble may be unprecedented in NFL history. With the running backs struggling and likely a lack of confidence among the group, may I suggest bringing back fan favorite Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala?



Sure, Fuamatu-Ma'afala hasn't played professional football since 2004, but in 227 career rushing attempts and 43 receptions, Fuamatu-Ma'afala never lost a fumble. Plus, it's fun saying and writing Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala! Even if he can't play professionally anymore (though at 35, Fuamatu-Ma'afala is younger than Charlie Batch), could he at least come back to give a motivational speech to the team?

Curious as to what Fuamatu-Ma'afala is up to these days? After conducting a thorough internet search, I found that Steelers.com published this article last year about Fuamatu-Ma'afala:

What are you currently doing?
Working with youth sports for the U.S. Army on the bases in Hawaii. They have three bases on the Island of Oahu and we run all of the youth sports programs. We work with kids ages 3-17 and try to counsel them about their parents being deployed.

What is the fondest memory from your playing career?
It would be being in the locker room, hanging out with the guys and getting ready for the games. That is what I miss the most.

What was your best game?
My best moment was a game when we played Cleveland. I was doing special teams. Amos (Zereoue) was doing third down. We had the two-minute drill. Amos got hurt and I had to go in for him on the last drive to go ahead and help us win the game. I guess that would be my best moment.

What made playing for the Steelers special?
It’s very family-oriented. The organization from top to bottom respects everybody. When I went to Jacksonville it didn’t feel the same. Everybody says the same when they leave Pittsburgh. This will always be my second home. It was a great experience.

Teammates you were closest to during your playing days?
Kimo von Oelhoffen, Levon Kirkland…there were so many friendships with all of those guys.

Teammate who was the biggest character?
Earl Holmes. He was off the chain. He is a funny guy. I heard he is doing good coaching in college now. I am happy for him.

Do you still keep in touch with former teammates?
I do. I talk to Troy Edwards a lot. It’s fun talking and sharing old stories with the guys.

Do you still follow the Steelers and if so, how closely?
I do always. In Hawaii, nobody remembers me playing for the Jaguars. Everything was all about Pittsburgh. I am glad it’s like that. I want to be remembered as a Steeler.


Free Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sean's Week 12 NFL Picks

Happy Sunday everyone! After going 7-7 again last week, I am now 79-76-4 on the season through 11 weeks. Although I went 1-2 on picking games on Thursday, I went 4-0 on eating Thanksgiving deserts! Here are my picks for week 12:


Go Steelers and enjoy a special Charlie Batch Thanksgiving weekend!


Picture courtesy of Benstonium.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

2012 Thanksgiving Message

On this Thanksgiving, I wanted to share this message for you and your family:

Love to eat the turkey
At the table
I once saw a movie
With Betty Grable


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why Is Louis Lipps Wearing Zubaz Pants?

The Pittsburgh Steelers celebrated their 80th anniversary over the weekend by inviting former players to Heinz Field. Fifteen Steeler greats, including multiple Hall of Famers, posed for this picture prior to the Steelers-Ravens game.


While everyone in the picture is wearing jeans or black pants, #83 wide receiver Louis Lipps, one of my favorite players of all time, decided to make a fashion statement by wearing black and gold Zubaz pants. I don't understand this decision. While I guess the pants match the hat and jersey, why did Lipps feel like these pants were appropriate for this (or any other) gathering?

Regardless, I'll still wear my Louis Lipps jersey this Sunday.

Photo from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Trivia Tuesday: Picture Edition

It has been several weeks since I received any comments on this blog. It has also been more than several weeks since my last Trivia Tuesday. Since there might be some correlation here, I thought it was time to bring back Trivia Tuesday. Please answer the questions based on the picture below.


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 Pub Stumpers.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sean's Week 11 NFL Picks

After going 7-7 in week 10, I'm still over .500 on the season with an overall record of 72-69-4. Hooray for me! Let's see how I do this week.


Enjoy the games!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How Do You Become A Socialite?

Perhaps you watch the news and have seen the multiple stories about the David Petraeus affair. With the election over and the media apparently finished covering the Hurricane Sandy clean-up efforts, the Petraeus story currently leads every newscast and appears on most newspapers' front pages. One of the key figures in this story is Jill Kelley described as a "Tampa socialite." My question (if you couldn't tell by the title) is how does one achieve the socialite status? Are there male socialites? Regardless, consider this my application to the members of the socialite board to become a socialite. Here are my qualifications:

- I am an avid reader often reading nearly a dozen books each day. I'm happy to discuss the merits and flaws of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book any time.

- I still write a blog. How quaint!

- I am a certified soccer referee. If this doesn't qualify me to join the socialite community, I don't know what does. (And I clearly don't know what does.)

- I regularly fall asleep on the couch, often as early as 9:30 or 10:00. Maybe I shouldn't include this in my application.

- Every socialite needs some trivia in their lives, right? Well, I just so happen to attend trivia nights several times per month.

- The socialite community certainly needs fantasy football leagues. I am a commissioner of one league and participate in several other leagues, so I would be the perfect fit. Plus, my teams this year are mediocre (or worse) so this could help boost the self-esteem of others in the league.

- If being a good cook is a requirement, I could be out; however, I make a mean spinach pasta dish topped with feta cheese. (Note to self: Need to make the spinach pasta meal topped with feta cheese.)

Overall, the socialite community might need some good PR, and including me as a socialite would be a good step in making this happen.

I look forward to hearing from Ms. Kelley or any of the Real Housewives on my application. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Damon Thibodeaux Story

This is a bit of a departure from the usual tone of my blog (basically, it's a serious post instead of, well, everything else I write), but I wanted to share this true story about Damon Thibodeaux, a Louisiana death-row inmate who was recently exonerated after spending 15 years in prison. Let KARE-11 TV in Minneapolis explain:

There's also more information about Damon in this Washington Post article and this video from WDSU in New Orleans. I don't have any specific message; I'm just trying to spread the word about this case and Damon himself. Besides the videos and articles above, I encourage you to check out this website about Damon Thibodeaux. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Steelers-Chefs Recap

The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs Monday night 16-13 in an ugly overtime game. Instead of showing highlights or writing about Ben Roethlisberger's injury, check out Chef Gordon Ramsay getting crushed in a charity soccer game. With the exception of Mike Wallace's touchdown catch, this was just as entertaining as anything that happened in last night's game.



I'm very impressed that every sentence of this post (including this one) ends with the word game.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sean's Week 10 NFL Picks

After an incredible 11-3 week, I'm now over .500 with an overall record of 65-62-4. Maybe I finally know what I'm doing. Of course, in that case, you can disregard the Jacksonville pick from Thursday night.

Here are my week 10 NFL picks:


Have a great Sunday (& Monday night)!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Verizon Text Message Rant

I was in Colorado the past few days, and while I'll write about the trip soon (including a review of the movie showed on the airplane, Step Up Revolution), I need to share this text message I received from Verizon:

MSG USAGE ALERT: # ending XX29 used abt 50% of its MSG allowance for the bill ending on the 7th. Monitor at vzw.com. As of 11/05 06:49 AM EST. FREE MSG

Now this type of message isn't unusual and is quite helpful in letting you know if you are approaching your monthly text message allowance. However, please note the time of this message, 6:49 AM. Since I was in Colorado, I actually received this message at 4:49 AM!


I don't always sleep well in hotels, so naturally, the phone woke me up when I received the text message. If you think that I should have my phone off at that time, I use my phone as an alarm clock on vacation particularly as a back-up for hotel wake-up calls.

My question is why couldn't Verizon send this message in the middle of the afternoon or immediately after I sent or received a text message when I reached the 50% mark of my monthly allowance?

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Night LiveBlog

Watch the election night results with me and the usual LiveBlog cast of characters. We'll cover the television coverage of multiple networks and share views from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, and more. We'll start at 9:00 Eastern time and go until I fall asleep on the couch. Please feel free to join us and share your thoughts on the election.

Vote Baby Vote

Deee-Lite, the creator of one of my favorite songs of the 90s, Groove Is In The Heart, wants you to vote. Listen to Lady Miss Kier!



After you vote, come back to Sean's Ramblings at 9:00 PM Eastern time for an election LiveBlog.

(h/t A.V. Club)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Sean's Week 9 NFL Picks

After a 7-7 week, I'm now 54-59-4 on the season. I'm still not very good at this.

Anyway, here are my picks for week 9:


Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, November 02, 2012

A Chunky Monkey Story

Although my wife doesn’t like being the subject of many blog posts, she thought that I should share this story about her recent trip to our neighborhood grocery store. (Actually, she told me this story, and I asked if I could post it.)

While waiting in the customer service line, the person in front of her started screaming at a store employee because they did not have Ben & Jerry’ s Chunky Monkey ice cream. Apparently, the woman visited this store a week earlier and found no Chucky Monkey ice cream. Several days later, although the store stocked other flavors of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, there remained no Chucky Monkey. As a loyal Safeway customer, she was appalled at this injustice! She had a friend coming in from out of town and apparently, this friend could not live with Chunky Monkey ice cream.


I’m not sure how or if this situation was resolved but there is a Ben & Jerry’s store located about a mile from Safeway. In addition, there are other grocery stores (like Wegmans) within close proximity. I understand loyalty to a company or brand, but if you need something so badly, it's okay to go somewhere else.

I have a feeling that Safeway didn’t want her to be a loyal customer anymore.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sean’s Political Platform: The Real Issues

With the Presidential election less than a week away, there are some significant issues not mentioned by either President Obama or Governor Romney. In my opinion, if either candidate backed my initiatives, he would win the election. Therefore, let me introduce you to my 7-point plan.

1. Tax credits for owning pets adopted from animal shelters. Pets are wonderful companions and people should be encouraged to adopt animals from shelters. Plus, shelters usually require and ensure that the pets are spayed and neutered. Bob Barker is all for this!


2. Eliminate daylight savings time. I wrote about this earlier this year, and still don’t understand why most of the country follows daylight savings. What do we really save? Try getting a young child to follow the time change. Painful.

3. Change the non-profit status of the National Football League. I’ll admit that I don’t fully understand the tax status and how this works, but it seems inconceivable to me that an organization that generates billions of dollars is non-profit. All I know is that I have Sunday Ticket, but not the Red Zone Channel since it is an extra fee this year. The NFL has to be making big money from this.

4. Initiate paid leave for new mothers. The Family Medical Leave Act gives new mothers 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Canada allows for an entire year of leave for new mothers with 50 weeks of paid leave. The Scandinavian countries are even better. Wouldn’t it be great if new parents could get help supporting their infants in this country without needing to get back to work immediately?

5. You’re wondering how we’re going to pay for items #1 and especially #4, aren’t you? The solution: legalize marijuana and tax sales of marijuana. Is marijuana really worse than alcohol or tobacco? Legalize marijuana and let the states figure out how to sell it. Set a minimum age as well as penalties for driving under the influence. The opening of marijuana stores and licensed marijuana growers could also help create jobs. Wiz Khalifa is all for this!


6. End the NHL lockout. There’s no good reason why hockey isn’t playing right now. Actually, President Obama weighed in on this during his visit to Jay Leno, but that’s hardly getting the owners and players together. Has Governor Romney said anything about this? He was born in Michigan and was Governor of Massachusetts, two big hockey states, so you’d think he’d want the NHL to settle the lockout.

7. Get Joanna Garcia a successful television show. I liked Animal Practice, but not enough other people did. She seems to have had a string of unsuccessful television shows, but I admit that I like watching her. That sounds creepy, so maybe I should rephrase it before her husband, Nick Swisher, reads this. Um, just kidding, Nick.


I’m Sean of Sean’s Ramblings, and I approve this blog post.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Mix

The Federal Government is closed as is nearly every school in the Washington DC area. While we still have power (the one positive aspect of losing power is that you can't see or hear political commercials!), here are some songs that are appropriate for Hurricane Sandy.

Scorpions - Rock You Like a Hurricane



Snap - The Power (If we lose power, apparently Snap has it.)



Garbage - I'm Only Happy When It Rains



Bob Seger - Against The Wind (Other options: Kansas - Dust In The Wind; Bette Midler - Wind Beneath My Wings; Bob Dylan - Blowin' In The Wind; Vanessa Williams - Colors of the Wind)



Sandy from Grease



I'm sure that Captain Easychord can provide some additional songs for this Hurricane Sandy Mix.

Stay safe, everyone.

Friday, October 26, 2012

How Could You Leave on Yom Kippur? (Friday Video & NFL Picks)

If Train creates a catchy song and includes David Hasselhoff in the song's video, I'm going to share that video here. At around the 2:05 mark of the video for 50 Ways To Say Goodbye, I'm pretty sure the line is "How could you leave on Yom Kippur?" That can't really be the line though, right? That would even be more random than the Black Eyed Peas saying Mazel Tov and L'Chaim in a song.



On to my NFL picks. After a decent 7-5-1 week (I selected the 49ers when the line was 7; the final line ended up being San Francisco favored by 7.5), I'm now 47-52-4 on the year. Here are my week 8 picks:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

7 + 1 + 2 + 1 = 12? (Express Fail)

Math is difficult. How else can you explain the total number of visits made by the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates and their spouses to Pennsylvania in the past 30 days according to Express?


As always, please click here for all of your Express Fail needs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The War on Halloween

You probably notice all the candy on display at supermarkets. You also may have received invitations for Halloween parties and/or thought about what you or your kids will wear this year. Although the temperatures are falling (although the high is supposed to be around 80 in DC today) and we’re now a month into Fall, there is clearly a War on Halloween in this country. Look around your neighborhoods and especially at intersections for proof. Sure, there might be some places with Halloween decorations, but they are no match for political signs. That’s right; Halloween is under attack from political parties, political action committees and the media.


What do you see when you turn on the television? Political advertisements. In the DC area, not only are there ads for or against Obama and Romney, but we see countless commercials for Virginia’s Senatorial candidates and several Maryland propositions. You can’t enter or exit a Metro station without people asking about voter registration or handing out flyers (or newspapers in the morning). Even restaurants such as California Tortilla have contests based on the Presidential candidates (yes, the Obama burrito vs. the Romney burrito). If you want further proof that there is a War Against Halloween, look at The Simpsons. The long-running show features the “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween-themed episode each year. This year, Fox aired Treehouse of Horror XXIII on October 7th. October 7th! That’s more than three weeks before Halloween. Rupert Murdoch, also the head of Fox News, is surely to blame.


It’s time to fight back! We cannot lose this war. Halloween is too important to kids, candy companies, guys who like seeing women in scantily-clad costumes, dentists, women who like wearing scantily-clad costumes, and pagans (including San Francisco Giants OF Angel Pagan) among others. Sure you can vote on November 6th, but don’t let them take away October 31st!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Links & Week 7 NFL Picks

Happy Friday everyone! Please check out some amazing links from around the web.

Mr. Brame writes about his experience reading his first Hebrew word. [I Love Memphis]

Lisa recently celebrated her sixth blog anniversary. I feel like there are so few blogs with a history these days and every one of her posts are a must read. [Lemon Gloria]

The "Terrible" Wedding includes some awesome pictures like this one. [Blog 'N' Gold]


Who brings their own beer to an all-inclusive resort? [Lacochran]

A Beano Cook obituary [New York Times]

On to my NFL picks. After a 6-8 week, I'm now 40-47-3 for the year. I'm doing great! Anyway, here are my week 7 picks:


Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Want To Know More About Shear Madness? (Express Fail)

Whenever I struggle to find something to write about, I can always count on Express for inspiration. Last Thursday’s “The Guide to the Lively Arts” featured information about the long-running show Shear Madness.


It seems like Express has a lot of questions about the show. Of course, perhaps this is a new interactive feature where Express asks its readers to answer questions. Or perhaps not since Shear Madness is not included in this Thursday’s guide.


As always, please click here for all of your Express Fail needs.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Book Review: How Winning the Lottery Changed My Life

With the Mega Millions jackpot at $540 million in March, I wrote a post stating that I didn’t want to win the lottery. Essentially, I didn’t want to deal with the media and people asking me for money. Based on this post, a publicist contacted me about “reviewing a memoir written by a true lottery winner.” Since I’m never one to pass up free stuff, I said sure.

Let me preface this review by writing that I expected to read a book. While I wasn’t expecting War & Peace, I was surprised that How Winning the Lottery Changed My Life by Sandra Hayes contained only 42 pages with 18 chapters. In my opinion, this is a pamphlet, not a book. Anyway, Sandra Hayes describes how she played the lottery with her co-workers dubbed the “Lucky 13,” including how she discovered that she won, the details about what happens after you win the lottery (meetings with the Missouri Lottery Commission and an attorney) and her stint on a reality show.

Are you curious about how much money Hayes won?

The truth is no one knows, but me. Each Lucky 13 Missouri Powerball Winner’s winnings are different. We all invested our winnings differently.

Then, two pages later, Hayes wrote the same thing.

The truth is no one knows how much money the Lucky 13 received. Each Lucky 13 Missouri Powerball winner’s winnings were different because we all invested our winnings differently.

In only 42 pages, how can you write the same thing so close together? This is probably a very minor point, but this was frustrating to me.

When discussing the reality show pitch, Hayes wrote, “My jaw dropped later that day when we met [the actors considering producing a reality show] in the conference room because I had had no idea one of my favorite actors would be standing that room.” Unfortunately, Hayes never revealed the actor’s identity. Are we talking Denzel Washington? Dustin Diamond?


After the reality show aired and included negative statements from family and friends about Hayes, she writes that she didn’t talk to some of these people for a year. Later in the same paragraph, Hayes states, “even today a few people do not like me because of the reality show. Who cares? Cut and paste – it was just a reality show.” Well, apparently she cared if she didn’t talk to folks for a year based on comments made on a reality show.

I’m happy that Hayes won and seems to have invested well. I also liked how Hayes shared that she once received food stamps and depended on a charitable organization to support her family and then gave back to that organization after she won the lottery. However, while I wanted to know more about Hayes’ experience (again, only 42 pages!), I really didn’t want to know more about Hayes’ experience. Hayes writes several times that she values her privacy, yet she went on a reality show and now wrote a book.

Spoiler alert: Hayes closes by asking the question "Is the downside of my life worth the wealth I have accumulated? My answer is yes." That’s probably all you need to know about this book and winning the lottery.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Trivia Tuesday: Picture Edition

Happy Tuesday everyone! Let's get right to this week's trivia challenge. There are ten questions in picture below. Answer them!


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 Pub Stumpers.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Not The Only Game To Hold Their World Series This Month

This post was written by Daniel Smith, a fellow baseball fan and poker
player.


The baseball playoffs are currently in full swing and soon we will get a better idea of who will square off in the World Series. Right now it is too early to say for certain who will face off in the World Series, but you can never rule out the Yankees and there is a good chance that San Francisco could make a return trip to the fall classic. (Sean's Note: I think we're going to see a Cardinals-Tigers World Series, but I've clearly been wrong in my predictions in the past.)

However, there is another world series that is going to wrap up later this month and it will award more prize money than any other sports championship, including a Floyd Meyweather fight. What I am referring to is the World Series of Poker.

The WSOP Main Event final table is scheduled to kick off on October 29th as the final nine players battle for a first place prize of over $8 Million and the title of poker's world champion.

The World Series of Poker has crowned the world champion of the game of poker since 1970 and in that time many of the game's greatest have taken center stage at the event. However, in the last 10 years, the game has really exploded thanks largely in part to televised poker and ESPN.

In 1970, the world champion was determined by popular vote and then starting in 1971 a tournament was played to determine the champion. Back then, only seven players participated. Over the years the event grew to where it had a few hundred players in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker turned a $29 satellite online into a $10,000 Main Event seat and then into $2 Million.

Now, the Main Event draws thousands of players each year looking to take home the top prize in poker. Unlike baseball, the game of poker does not require that you have major league talent or frankly any talent at all. If you can come up with the money, you can play.

No other professional game allows players to compete on the same field as the top stars in the game. Joe Nobody (Sean's note: or Richie Incognito) can potentially knock out Phil Hellmuth and go on to win a world title. If Joe Nobody tried to walk onto a major league team, security would be escorting him out.

The World Series of Poker may not have the same history as baseball's World Series, but it is still as prestigious to any serious poker player. If you have never watched the WSOP or televised poker you can watch it later this month on ESPN. Maybe then you will discover why the game has become one of the fastest growing games in the world.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Video & Week 6 NFL Picks

Ohio State's band makes its return to Sean's Ramblings courtesy of this amazing tribute to video games halftime performance. Go to the 6:00 minute mark to see something awesome.



h/t Nichole

I went 9-5 last week meaning that perhaps I'm getting better at picking NFL games. That brings my overall season record to 34-39-3. Here are my picks for this week:


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Joe Biden Looks Old For His Age (Express Fail)

In a preview of tonight’s Vice Presidential debate, an event I will not watch due to the Pittsburgh Steelers-Tennessee Titans game,* Express provided the following “Tale of the Tape” between Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan:


I had no idea that Joe Biden’s middle name is Robinette. I also didn’t realize that he’s 59 years old, meaning that Delaware elected him as their Senator when he was only 23.

Of course, Biden is actually 69 years old born on November 20, 1942.

As always, please click here for all of your Express Fail needs. I may need to create a separate blog someday devoted solely to all of Express’ errors.


* Who decided that it was a good idea to have the VP debate on the same night as the Steelers game? That’s very poor planning unless this was organized by members of some third political party like the Green or Libertarian parties. In that case, well done third party candidates!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fatherhood Update

With my son recently turning a year and a half, is it appropriate to say he's a year and half or do I need to continue giving his age in months (18 months, 19 months, etc.) until he turns 2? Regardless, this is a really fun age. After months of developing his scooting technique, my son has finally decided that walking is an excellent way to move around. Of course, there is still a learning process and he will only walk when and where he wants to walk. For example, during some of our neighborhood walks, he will stop to point at passing cars (he loves cars), to lay on a speed bump (I'm not a fan of this one), and to play with a leaf on the ground. He can (and does) easily spend five minutes sitting on the sidewalk playing with a leaf.

He also fully understands what's going on. When we say that it's dinnertime, he knows to go to his high chair. When we ask him to touch his nose, he sometimes points to his nose and sometimes points to his ear. Close enough. He also has the ability to ignore our requests. He has a wonderful laugh and smile and has a great sense of humor like his dad. He'll splash in the bathtub because he finds it fun and this makes me smile. At least up until the point where I'm wet and have to clean the mess.

The only frustration is his eating habits. He'll love bananas one day and throw them off his tray the next day. Although he loves hot dogs, he can't eat them everyday. (Yes, this is written by his dad who eats Hebrew National salami sandwiches five days a week.)

Just within the last week, my son has started giving hugs where he puts his head against my face and puts his hands around my neck. It is incredibly sweet and nice and just makes my day.


Finally, he is slowly learning to be gentle to Ziggy. Sure, the child will still push toy cars (and again, he loves cars) towards Ziggy causing Ziggy to seek higher ground, but he also started giving Ziggy hugs by laying his head next to Ziggy's body. Also very sweet.

Overall, fatherhood is treating me well. My kid is great, truly gets excited to see me and loves spending time with me. I have the same reactions with him.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Trivia Tuesday

I have two separate challenges for you today. First, after over 300 million hits on YouTube, I've now heard Gangham Style several times on the radio. My question to you is what other non-English hit songs have received airplay on the radio.

As for your more traditional Trivia Tuesday, name the only state that borders both of the two given states.

1. Louisana, New Mexico

2. Minnesota, Missouri

3. Florida, Mississippi

4. Washington, Utah

5. Wyoming, Oklahoma

6. Delaware, Ohio

7. Maryland, Tennessee

8. Georgia, Missouri

9. Oklahoma, Mississippi

10. Kentucky, Oklahoma

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

The second quiz is courtesy of the fine folks at Stump Trivia.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Sean's Week 5 NFL Picks (& Friday Video)

After finishing 6-8-1 last week, it is quickly becoming apparent that I'm not very good at picking NFL games. Through the first four weeks of the season, I'm now 25-34-3. Therefore, instead of providing any analysis of games this week, I'm just going to provide my picks and a video.


After a summer of thousands of "Call Me Maybe" videos, we're now seeing hundreds of "Gangham Style" videos. While this one by the Ohio University band is very cool, I declare a moratorium on Gangham Style videos. We don't need so many videos for every popular song!



(h/t Sarah)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Catching Up

In case you were wondering, here is what’s going on in my life. My child recently turned 18 months (more on this soon), and I’m spending way too much time with fantasy sports. I’ve written about this several times, but I have been in one fantasy baseball league for 20 years, or more than half of my life, and in that time, I’ve never won this league. At approximately 9:00 PM Eastern time, I was in position to earn my first championship via a tie-breaker; however, Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers pitched an incredible game causing me to fall into second place. This is an auction league with keepers, salary caps and minor league drafts, so the fact that I finished 2nd place two years in a row in a 12-team league is pretty impressive. With that written, winning this league is on my bucket list!

Now I can turn my attention to fantasy football where I am in 6 leagues this year. My records are 3-1; 3-1; 2-2; 2-2; 1-3; and 0-4. I might be in too many leagues, but I have a hard time saying no when someone asks me to join a league.

In other news, Teddy finally won the Presidents race that occurs at every Nationals home game. Back in 2007, I wrote the following:

Anyway, the big story is that Teddy Roosevelt has never won a race. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln always win. My guess is that the Nats are saving a Teddy win for a big moment, either the last game at RFK, the first game at the new stadium, or if the Nationals ever sell-out a game, which could happen this weekend against the Baltimore Orioles.

Or when the Nationals make the playoffs. Anyway, the DC media is treating Teddy’s win as a major story. Enjoy information about the race in The Washington Post which includes a quote from an 8-year-old kid who played hooky from school in case Teddy won the race. Boo to the parents for letting this happen. I’m fine with a kid missing school for a playoff game, but missing school to see a mascot race is absurd.

After numerous Express Fail posts by me, an Express Fail went national! [Deadspin]


Finally, since the baseball regular season is over, let's look at how I did with my 2012 Pirates predictions:

1. Over/under wins: 72.5 Correct - 79 wins
I'll go over. It's March, so of course I'm optimistic now.

2. Andrew McCutchen batting average in the 2012 Regular Season: Over/Under .280 Correct - .327

I'll go over on this one too. I think McCutchen will have an amazing season.

3. Andrew McCutchen - Total HR's in the 2012 Regular Season: Over/Under 25.5 Incorrect - 31

While I do think McCutchen will have an amazing season, I think 20-25 home runs is realistic.

4. Andrew McCutchen - Total Stolen Bases in the 2012 Regular Season: Over/Under 25.5 Incorrect - 21

Over.

5. Neil Walker - BA in the 2012 Regular Season: Over/Under .275 Incorrect - .280

I'll go under on this one. No real reason why.

6. Pedro Alvarez - Total HR's in the 2012 Regular Season: Over/Under 17.5 Correct - 30

The big money deserves to go on the under, but I'm one of the few remaining Pedro supporters. I'll go over.

7. Garrett Jones - Total HR's in the 2012 Regular Season: Over/Under 15.5 Incorrect - 27

I'll go under only because I'm banking on Pedro playing well meaning less playing time for Jones with McGahee getting significant at-bats at 1st.

8. Jose Tabata - BA in the 2012 Regular Season: Over/Under .280 Incorrect - .243

Over. I think Tabata will hit around .300.

9. Joel Hanrahan - Total Saves in the 2012 Regular Season: Over/Under 35.5 Incorrect - 36

Under. There will be fewer save opportunities for Hanrahan since the Pirates will constantly win games 10-2!

10. Erik Bedard - Total Wins in the 2012 Regular Season: Over/Under 8 Incorrect - 7

Over. I predict more wins for Bedard in 2012 than Correia in 2011.

11. Josh Harrison walks: Over/Under 9 Incorrect - 10

This is the toughest prop on the board! I'll predict under, but barely.

12. Team bunting attempts: Over/Under 1000 Correct, but I didn’t actually count this.

Over, but I'm not going to actually count this during the season.


Shockingly (based on my record picking NFL games), I went 4-8.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Who Is Bud Recktenwald?

I received an e-mail from the Senator John Heinz History Center promoting a pep rally for the Gridiron Glory Exhibit this Saturday, October 6th. Here's a brief description:

Steelers Hall of Famer Franco Harris and several special guests will help the Senator John Heinz History Center kick off its new exhibition, Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, at a public pep rally event on Sat., Oct. 6, at 10:00 a.m. in the History Center parking lot on 12th and Smallman Street.

Visitors to the Gridiron Glory Kickoff and Pep Rally can be the first to see the new blockbuster exhibition, which includes more than 200 football artifacts from the Pro Football Hall of Fame collections, exclusive videos from the vaults of NFL Films, and a special section on the Steelers and football in Western Pa.

The Steelerettes – the first and only cheerleaders in franchise history– will get visitors fired up, while Pittsburgh Power player Mike Washington will ceremoniously “kick off” the exhibit with a live field goal attempt through the original Three Rivers Stadium goal post outside of the History Center.

The “Ultimate Steelers Fan” Bud Recktenwald will join mascot Steely McBeam and other passionate Steelers fan groups to wave their Terrible Towels and show off their black and gold pride.


Let’s stop right there. First, how does someone become the “Ultimate Steelers Fan” and can you really call yourself the Ultimate Steelers Fan if you’re being joined by Steely McBeam? There are thousands and thousands, if not millions of Steelers fans across the world. Therefore, how does Bud Recktenwald get to call himself the Ultimate Steelers Fan?


Apparently, Recktenwald (I’m just calling him Bud for the rest of this post; much easier to type) is recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame as the Ultimate Steelers Fan as part of a fan promotion sponsored by VISA. While I found information about Bud in this Pocono Record article and in the Pro Football’s Most Passionate Fans eBook by Harvey “Mr. Steeler” Aronson, a search for “Recktenwald” on the Pro Football Hall of Fame website does not have any results. So is Bud living off this Ultimate Steelers Fan label based on winning a contest? Plus, how did Harvey Aronson get the Mr. Steeler nickname? If Art or Dan Rooney gave either of these gentlemen the nicknames, I’d be fine with it, but otherwise, it’s a little suspect. I don't go around calling myself the Ultimate Mr. Ramblings. Actually, maybe I should!

In full disclosure, I've had some e-mail correspondence with Harvey Aronson in the past. Seems like a good guy and really does have a passion for the Steelers.

For more information on Gridiron Glory, visit the Heinz History Center website and click here to learn more about the kickoff and pep rally.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Return Of Trivia Tuesday

While I'm not sure if I'm truly ready to make Trivia Tuesday a weekly feature again, I found this fun game titled Know Your States. Your challenge is simply (or not so simply) to place the U.S. state on the map

I scored a 90% with an average error of 13 miles in 401 seconds.

Please note that it's very possible that I shared this game here several years ago. If so, enjoy playing this again!

In addition, please feel free to share your results in the comments section below.

h/t to Josh.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sean's Week 4 NFL Picks

Happy Sunday everyone. I am much better at picking games during even weeks than odd weeks. Want proof? After a 5-10-1 record in week three (I consider the Packers-Seahawks game a push), I am 10-20-1 in odd weeks and 9-6-1 in even weeks (week #2) for an overall total of 19-26-2. Regardless, that's not very good. Since it's an even week, I'm going to redeem myself. Here are my week four picks:


I was correct in my feature pick last week, so I'll highlight one game today. Houston is a 12 point favorite at home against the Tennessee Titans. While I'm not convinced that the Titans can win this game, I have a feeling that this will be a close game based on the fact that it's a division match up meaning that the teams know each other quite well. Please note that I didn't listen to this reasoning for the Ravens-Browns game on Thursday night. Interesting fact you may not know: The Titans are 14-4 against the spreads in games where every single fantasy column mentions how terrible Chris Johnson has been this season during the preceding week.

Enjoy the games!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall For Fairfax

If you live in the Washington DC area, have kids and are looking for something to do this weekend, I recommend attending the Fall for Fairfax KidsFest at the Fairfax County Government Center. Here's all the information you need to know:

When: Saturday, September 29th from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. & Sunday, September 30th from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Where: On the grounds of the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035. Plenty of free parking is available.

What: 3 stages of FREE entertainment. Activities include scarecrow making*, pumpkin painting*, public safety and recycling-themed exhibits, pony rides*, petting zoo, hay rides, model trains, and the KidWay MidWay* (with more than a dozen rides and attractions).

Plus more than 75 exhibits, activities and great festival food!

*Indicates program fee applies



I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Truly Sean’s Ramblings

There is a lot I could complain about from the past weekend. For starters, Sears delivered a new dishwasher, but it was damaged, so we still have our old dishwasher. After several phone calls and a trip back to the store, we’re getting another new dishwasher in about two weeks. Although this situation is/was frustrating, it looks like we might save a little money on the purchase, so this could turn out to be okay.

Meanwhile, I could complain about the Pittsburgh Steelers performance in Sunday's 34-31 loss to Oakland. Neither the running game or defense looked good, but the Steelers bye week comes at a perfect time. Hopefully, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and Rashard Mendenhall get healthy. Meanwhile, the team has two weeks to prepare for the next game. Use that time well!

Now I will complaint about the NFL, CBS and DirecTV’s Sunday Ticket. I purchased Sunday Ticket so that I can watch every Steelers game (and every other NFL game) from the comfort of my home. On Sunday, DirecTV blacked out the Steelers-Raiders game since the local CBS station decided to carry the game. (DirecTV doesn’t air in-market games.) However, instead of showing the Steelers game at the regularly scheduled time of 4:25, CBS showed overtime of the Saints-Chiefs game followed by the end of the Dolphins-Jets game. CBS did not start airing the Steelers game until the second quarter started which was after 5:00. Now, I understand not showing the Steelers-Raiders game on time in the DC market if the 1:00 game featured Washington or even Baltimore. I wouldn’t necessarily be happy, but I would understand.

So I have several questions here. Since the Redskins-Bengals game ended before 4:25, why switch to the Saints-Chiefs game instead of going with the Steelers game you already had scheduled? Since CBS wasn’t showing the Steelers-Raiders game, why can’t DirecTV show the game until it airs on local TV? The most important question though is why am I paying for Sunday Ticket if I can’t watch the Steelers?

Since Yom Kippur starts tonight, I hope the NFL, CBS and DirecTV atone for their sins! (This may be a bit strong, but they can at least treat their customers better.)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sean's Week 3 NFL Picks

I did significantly better in week two than week one with a 9-6-1 record including going 2-0-1 in my "feature" games. I'm now 14-16-1 overall. Sadly, my winning percentage is now around the same as the Pirates. Anyway, here are my picks for week 3:


In full disclosure, I changed my pick (and announced it on Twitter) for the Thursday night game and selected Carolina. I guess the Giants really didn't miss Bradshaw, Nicks, etc.

For no apparent reason, I feel like Jacksonville will win, or at least cover, today. I can see Maurice Jones-Drew (AKA "The Advertising Agency") having a big game and the Jaguars D forcing several turnovers. I can also see Russia from my house. Interesting stat: The Jaguars are 3-0 against the spread in games after I mention the team and seeing Russia from my house in the same blog post!

Enjoy the games!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Shooting at Woodland Hills High School: 20 Years Later

20 years ago tomorrow and over 6 years before Columbine, there was a shooting at Woodland Hills High School just outside of Pittsburgh. Fortunately, what could have been a life-changing event for thousands of people turned out to be a minor footnote at least for me. On Monday, September 21, 1992, I was in first period chemistry class extremely overwhelmed by the material. Although the bell rang to switch classes, my chemistry teacher, Mr. Nelson, didn't dismiss us immediately either to finish the lesson or to assign us homework. With only a few minutes to get to the next class and no flexibility from most teachers if you're late, you always wanted to leave immediately after the bell rang, particularly when you heard other students in the hall.

On this day though, the sounds of people walking and talking in the hall were interrupted by five loud popping sounds directly outside my classroom. To me, it sounded like balloons popping. It was not balloons. Either Mr. Nelson saw what was happening or was familiar with the sound of gunfire and immediately closed the door and put a rolling cart with a TV in front of the door. Although I remember the pops, I don't recall hearing any screams.


While we had no idea what was happening or happened outside the classroom, Mr. Nelson made sure that we didn’t go near the door. Although my memory about this event 20 years ago is a little fuzzy, I believe that he called the front office to let them know that he heard what could have been gunfire. My guess is that he knew what was going on but didn’t want to alarm us too much.

What did happen was that a sophomore (I think I remember the name, but I don’t want to write it here in case I’m incorrect) brought a gun into school and tried to shoot a specific person. Amazingly, in a crowded hallway he only hit one person and it wasn't the person he was attempting to shoot. He did shoot my classmate Rich who was coming from the physics classroom next door. The gunman then ran down the stairwell and exited the school.

At some point, maybe a few minutes later, maybe 30 minutes later, someone from the office announced what happened. The only thing I vividly remember from that day was that the office said this was a dispute that occurred outside school. For some reason, I thought this meant literally outside the school which was just down the street from my home. It was at this point that I started freaking out a bit until a classmate told me to shut up. That worked.

The gunman was caught later that day, and obviously, never returned to Woodland Hills High School. Meanwhile, I don’t remember what happened to us the rest of the day. I don’t think we got excused early, but no one was focused on learning and lessons that day. No one had cell phones and there certainly wasn’t internet at school in 1992, so most of what we discussed was rumors and theories. All of the local TV stations arrived at the school, so I got most of my information from watching the news that evening. Within a couple of days, the school installed metal detectors. Actually, I think that there was just one metal detector on the first day, and the school administration wanted 1000+ students to go through it. That plan didn’t work well since it was impossible for everyone to go through and start class on time.

Twenty years later, there’s not really much to discuss. Rich was shot in the shoulder, but returned to school on Wednesday, only two days later. A friend believes that the shooter died several years ago. Meanwhile, besides this minor synopsis (subscription required), I can’t find anything online about the incident since Pittsburgh’s two major newspapers at the time, the Pittsburgh Press and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, were both on strike.

If any fellow Woodland Hills classmates are reading this, please feel free to share your thoughts about the shooting in the comments section below. Is there anything that I’m missing? What were your experiences that day?