Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Party Like It's 5778

Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Wednesday and thus begins year 5778 in the Hebrew calendar. Happy New Year! Like previous years, I thought I would share some Rosh Hashanah videos to help you celebrate.

The Maccabeats - This Is the New Year (originally performed by A Great Big World)



The Maccabeats have been a staple of Sean's Ramblings as they perform new songs for seemingly every Jewish holiday and I always post them. Random question: Is acapella out? With Glee and Pitch Perfect, it appeared that acapella music was the in thing a few years ago. Has acapella lost its audience?

Rosh Hashanah Robot Party



There ain't no party like a Technion-Israel Institute of Technology's Cognitive Robotics Lab in the Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management party!

4 Things Jews Do on Rosh Hashanah by Mayim Bialik



I love Mayim Bialik. I'm sure that I mentioned this before (since I tend to repeat myself after writing this blog for well over a decade), but when I worked at San Diego State University many years ago, Bialik called our office to talk to one of my colleagues about a similar program she was coordinating at UCLA. I remember being really excited and may or may not have screamed, Blossom is on the phone! Blossom is on the phone!

Rapture



Several things here. Rosh Hashanah is the hidden day? I just went to Google and found out that Rosh Hashanah is on September 7th in the year 2097. Not so hidden. In addition, this woman is praying for the rapture? Maybe pray for Hurricane Maria not to cause any destruction or death instead. Let's say that there is a 0.000001% chance that the rapture occurs over the next few on Rosh Hashanah. I'll take the under.

Meanwhile, I prefer this Rapture.



Have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Midre Cummings, Orlando Merced, Denny Neagle and the Future of the Pittsburgh Pirates

My son (The Moose) recently checked out this Pittsburgh Pirates book from his school library.


Published in March 1997, the book details the history of the team from Honus Wagner and Pie Traynor to the 1960, 1971, and 1979 World Series Championships. The book's final page seemed optimistic about the team's future.


I guess the team did sail onward. It wasn't until 2013 that the Pirates had a winning record, and they haven't been very good in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Orlando Merced, Midre Cummings, and Denny Neagle (not Naegle) may have been looked to for leadership in the mid-90s, but they didn't bring a lot of wins. I just hope that if we read a 2017 version of a Pittsburgh Pirates book in 2037, we're in a good place.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fantasy Football

I've written about fantasy sports many times over the course of this blog's history. I went more than 20 years before winning a fantasy/rotisserie baseball title, and I had a long run of disappointing fantasy football seasons until fairly recently. I won't even mention the fantasy league I created based on VH1's Rock of Love with Bret Michaels (though I guess I did just mention it). Regarding fantasy football, I first started in 1991. There were no online drafts or automatic scoring. The draft was at someone's house, and we figured out who won by looking at the box scores the day after the game. With the #5 draft pick, I selected Jerry Rice, only the greatest wide receiver in NFL history. Unfortunately, it seemed like you needed a good quarterback to win the league, and John Friesz of the San Diego Chargers was did not meet this description. 

There was a time not so long ago that I was obsessed with fantasy football. I was in six leagues at once and was even part of a CNN article about fantasy football. (You can find it via a Google search.) Now, with kids, I don't have nearly the time or energy to devote to fantasy football. I mean, I'm still in 3 leagues, and I won all 3 leagues last year, so fantasy football is still part of my life, but not as much as it used to be. Fantasy football is big business, and there are daily, weekly, and season-long leagues, so you can participate in a Fantasy Draft right now. I just suggest not drafting John Friesz..


Good luck to everyone playing!

Friday, September 01, 2017

Friday Video: Taylor Swift

In the Taylor Swift-Katy Perry rivalry, I'm Team Katy. Despite the fact that she was awful hosting Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards (we can blame the writers, right?), I think we can all agree that it would be much more fun to hang out with Perry over Swift. Plus, Perry has a car named Kitty Purry. How adorable!

With that written, I really, really like several of Taylor Swift's songs. I've actually written about them once or twice. While I've now heard Swift's new song, Look What You Made Me Do, several times and it's starting to grow on me, this is definitely not her best work. Hearing it the first time, I didn't think it was good at all.



A few years ago, Swift wrote an amazingly catchy and fun song, Shake It Off. How did she go from that mindset to Look What You Made Me Do, where she is now no longer able to, well, shake it off? If she isn't the biggest pop star in America, Taylor is in the top 2. (Hi Beyoncé!) She has plenty of money and fame filled with commercial and critical success. Look what you made me do? No one is making her do anything. Yet, she still holds these grudges against Perry and/or Kanye West.

As a tangent, the new song features a line that the old Taylor is dead. Upon hearing this on the radio, The Moose (age 6) asked how old she was when she died and how old is the new Taylor. (He is obsessed with people's ages. During every song, he asks the age of the singer. I think I tell him that every current pop star is about 25 with the exception of Shawn Mendes who is probably 13.) Anyway, I tried to explain that Swift didn't really die and that this is her new mindset or something. I don't get it and he clearly doesn't either.

It's a holiday weekend, so I'll leave you with something happy. Here's Shake It Off: