Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Flight Restrictions

As part of today's Halloween celebration, I received pre-packaged cookies made by Cheryl & Co. They are really, really good cookies. Anyway, I'm flying on Thursday and would like to take them on the flight. Am I allowed to take the cookies on the flight or will they get confiscated by airport security?

Happy Halloween!

Today, I pulled out my old Blockbuster shirt and name-tag, and went to work as a Blockbuster employee. I was surprised at how few people dressed up for Halloween. I guess everyone wears a costume for parties the weekend before Halloween and not the day of. I only saw several other costumes on the Metro today; one person was dressed in a Cubs uniform and three other people were dressed in military uniforms (although there's a 99% chance that they actually WERE military officials going to and from work).

I also celebrated Halloween by finally having a vanilla Frosty from Wendy's. I highly recommend the vanilla version. Mmmmmm....Frosty!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Wentworth Miller - Pittsburgher?

Anyone that knows me knows that I am proud of my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and of people from or related to Pittsburgh that do well. People like Dan Marino, Michael Keaton, Christina Aguilera, Jonas Salk, Gertrude Stein, August Wilson and Fred Rogers among others. So when I recently learned through a WQED magazine article that Wentworth Miller, better known as Prison Break's Michael Scofield, was from Pittsburgh, that made me happy. My question after reading the article is whether or not Miller considers himself a Pittsburgher. He moved to Pittsburgh during his senior year of high school, went to Princeton for college and now only visits Pittsburgh once a year. Wentworth, if you're reading this and want to consider yourself a Pittsburgher, I'll certainly support you.

Oh, and if you're looking for someone to be in a future Prison Break episode, I'm your guy. According to the article, you were the star of Quaker Valley High School's "Lil' Abner" in 1990. Well, I was in the Woodland Hills High School version of "Lil' Abner" in 1992. Maybe I wasn't in the title role but my 10 lines as Government Man were essential to the show. Plus, due to my performance (according to the judges), Woodland Hills won the best musical at The Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater among Pittsburgh high schools. Woodland Hills won again in 1993 when I starred as Twin #2 in "Peter Pan." Did Quaker Valley win any awards when you were there? No. TAKE THAT SCOFIELD! (Wentworth, please note that although this doesn't convey well in print, I am displaying my range as an actor. I also know that the first year of the Kelly Awards was 1991.)

Future Ralph Kramden

From today's USA Today, a 15-year-old boy, Ritchie Calvin Davis, stole an Orlando city bus, drove it along a public transit route, picked up passengers and collected fares. He was charged with grand theft auto and driving without a license. While I certainly do not condone stealing a city busy, I admire the initiaive. I also appreciate that Davis made all the appropriate stops on the route. I'm rooting for Davis to get community service and/or probation and be able to become a bus driver some day.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I Forgot One Team

After writing about the lack of success of certain teams I follow yesterday (and the success of IC football), one team stood out and said "What about us? We're good." Unfortunately, that team is not the Pittsburgh Steelers, after an embarrassing 20-13 loss to the Raiders. More on the Steelers momentarily. The team I'm referring to is the Pittsburgh Penguins. After an 8-2 victory against the Flyers Saturday night, the Pens are 6-3 and in second place in the Atlantic division. The combination of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin has been fantastic and should be great for years to come.

OK, back to the Steelers. While the defense and Jeff Reed played well today, Big Ben threw four interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and was sacked five times. No touchdowns in four red-zone trips equals a loss. The Steelers have now been unofficially eliminated from the playoffs. There are nine teams in the AFC with at least four wins. Unless the Ravens and Bengals both choke, the Steelers will probably need 10 wins to make the post-season. I don’t see how this team can go 8-1 in its remaining nine games with two games against Baltimore, games at Cincinnati and Carolina and home games against Denver and New Orleans. Therefore, Go Penguins!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ithaca College Athletics

Since the Steelers are 2-4, Pitt football lost to Rutgers last week (and probably will lose to West Virginia and Louisville within the next month) and even Woodland Hills was defeated last night for the first time in nearly two months, I thought it was about time I wrote about the success of Ithaca College teams. Earlier today, the 20th-ranked (in Division III) Ithaca College Bombers defeated #14 Springfield 24-7. IC is now 7-1 with a very good chance to make the Division III playoffs. In addition, IC's women's cross country team is currently ranked 23rd in the nation and IC's women's soccer team is ranked #18. Go Bombers!

Don't forget to vote everyday for Campbell's Chunky soup's "Click for Cans" to fight hunger. There is quite a battle for first between the Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Nothing To See Here

I'm just playing around with Firefox 2. I haven't used anything other than Internet Explorer since Netscape probably 8 years ago. Don't mind me. Just testing. Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dear Political Candidates:

You can stop calling me, showing ads on TV and sending me mail. That’s because I voted yesterday. It feels nice to be done. Now, if anyone calls or stops me on the street, I can just say that I voted, now leave me alone (of course, I wouldn’t actually say the last part...probably). I may wear my "I Voted" sticker for the next two weeks.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What Is Wrong With Me?

This is really bad that I'm addicted to The Duel, the latest version of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge on MTV. Before I get started, there are a few things wrong with the title. There hasn't been a Road Rules in five years and I think there is only one person (Tina) on the Duel from RR. Plus, there are all these random people that weren't on either; they were on the last version of the challege called Fresh Meat.

As for the show, Tina may be the most useless person in reality history (Tucker Carlson is a close second). She's not competitive in any of these challenges and all she does is yell and pick fights. She's also not very bright. In last week's show, she got kicked out and lost her chance at $150K by punching the almost as useless Beth. Not that I condone violence, but for a chance at $150K, the punch should at hurt the target. Stupid show and I'm sure I am dumberer for watching it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Heat is On

It is currently 42 degrees in Northern Virginia and it is expected to go down to 36 tonight. It's cold! Therefore, even though we were hoping to wait a little longer, we turned on the heat. No sign of the loud squeaking sound yet, but the heat has only been on about ten minutes.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I'm Not Writing About the Steelers

41 points allowed...to Atlanta! Even worse was giving up most of those points to the Falcons' passing attack. OK, here's some non-Steelers stuff:

I'm glad that Sonic has so many commercials. However, I don't think I have ever seen a Sonic. Where are they located?

So it appears that Jay-Z's retirement is over. That didn't last very long. It's nice that his new song uses the sax sample from the classic Wreckx-N-Effect song "Rump Shaker" from the early 90s.

Is the band Hinder popular? They have a song "Lips of an Angel" that seems to be all over the place. All I think about when I hear the song is that the lead singer sounds like BoB ice and they are preparing to be the next Creed. I really hope they don't become the next U2 or Bon Jovi because I don't want to hear them for the next 20+ years.

OK, I will talk about the game. The red zone defense was poor as was the Special Teams. The bad turnovers really have to stop. While I still feel that the Steelers can turn the season around, I'm not confident that they can go 8-2 the last 10 games, which is probably what they need to do to reach the playoffs. At least Pitt had a good weekend. Maybe not. OK, at least Ithaca College and the Penguins won on Saturday.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Click for Cans 2006

In my attempt to use this site for good and not for evil, here's something good.

Campbell's Chunky soup is again having its Click for Cans to fight hunger. Visit the Chunky website and vote for your favorite NFL team (hopefully the Steelers) everyday. Only 57 days left to vote, so vote early and vote often (there's a limit of one vote per day).

By the way, the Steelers are currently in 2nd place behind the Bengals. We can't let Cincinnati fans win!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Entertainment Round-Up

Congrats to Flavor of Love for having 7.5 million viewers (including me) for its season finale Sunday night. That’s a lot of people! Even though Flav picked Delishis, New York is going to be OK. Apparently, she's getting her own spin-off called “Flavorette” where she gets to pick a guy. I don’t think I can take an entire show of her.

Random thought: Do you think Kirk Cameron ever looks back on the Growing Pains days and wonders how Leonardo DiCaprio is a major movie star now and he isn’t?

Tom DeLay is having a bad few days. When he resigned from Congress, he said that he would continue "to engage in the important cultural and political battles of our day." Apparently, the important cultural and political battles of our day is "Dancing With the Stars," or more specifically Sara Evans against Jerry Springer. (This is all from Lisa de Moraes, the fantastic TV writer of the Washington Post.) "Shortly before the show debuted, DeLay sent out a blast e-mail, asking his supporters to vote for Evans on the dancing competition series because she had been a strong supporter of the Republican Party and "represents good American values in the media" while "ultra liberal talk show host Jerry Springer" does not. At the time (and maybe until last week), there was speculation DeLay's endorsement of Evans had something to do with her husband, whose résumé includes chairman of Craig PAC, a national political action committee dedicated to electing Republicans at the federal and state level. Anyway, Evans left Dancing With the Stars because she is divorcing her husband, who she accuses of cheating on her and verbally abusing her. Nice guy. Anyway, I like Evans and I wish her the best. Oh, and Jerry Springer is still on Dancing With the Stars.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sports Round-Up

What a great football weekend! The Steelers and Pitt both had impressive wins on national TV. Woodland Hills won again with its third straight shutout, while Woodland Hills grad Steve Breaston had five catches for 79 yards in leading Michigan over Penn State. The Big East also had a nice weekend since every team playing a non-conference opponent was victorious. The only thing missing was an Ithaca College victory (they had a bye).

The Oakland A’s fired manager Ken Macha even though the A’s advanced to the American League Championship Series. In four years, Macha was 368-280. Oh yeah, Macha was interested in managing the Pirates when the position was open last winter, but he didn’t even get an interview (maybe he did and I just don’t remember). Anyway, according to the A’s "genius" general manager Billy Beane, it wasn’t Macha’s fault; just that a "disconnect was there and it was something [the A’s] needed to address as
soon as possible." While there may have been some internal disagreements, I think some of the blame for not making the World Series goes back to the GM. The A’s have little speed (no individual player had more than 11 stolen bases during the regular season) and not as much pitching depth as they’ve had in the past when Hudson and Mulder were there. I hope Macha gets a good managing job just like Jim Leyland. Go Tigers!

Thanks to LaDainian Tomlinson, I’m now 5-1 (2nd place out of 10 teams) in one fantasy football league and 3-3 (7th out of 16 but 3rd in overall points) in the other.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Flavor of Love Finale

If you haven't seen the episode and plan on it, don't read this message. For everyone else, here's a quick summary:

Although I haven't watched Flavor of Love 2 as much as the original version, I caught most of last night's finale. Congrats to the winner: Deelishis. However, the real winner is all of us because Flavor Flav did not pick New York. The last 15 mintues focused on the highly entertaining argument between the two after he rejected New York for a second time. Deelishis (yes, that's how it is spelled on the show) was somewhat of an afterthought.

My opinion: Hoopz, the winner of first season, was much better than anyone from season two.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Annoying Parent

After a soccer game today where I was the center referee, a parent walked on to the field and said, "You're the type of referee that gets kids hurt." I stared at him and nonchalantly replied, "Thank you," turned around and quietly said "I guess." The players that heard me laughed. Now that I've had a little time to think about it (and of course I couldn't say this at the time), I would have liked to have said F-you. Get the F off of my field. While you're at it, get a new sweatshirt since the one you are wearing is probably 15 years old (just for the record, I have no problem with old sweatshirts since I probably have some that are at least 10 years old) and think about shaving sometime.

If there was a foul during the game, I called it. If there was a foul but a team that got fouled had the advantage, I didn't call it but yelled play on. Back to the guy, soccer is a physical sport. If you don't want your kid playing soccer, encourage him to play chess. (Although I once helped instigate a fight in an eighth grade chess tournament, but that's for another time.) You know what else? Although two players were shaken up during the game, they were back on the field three minutes later, so everyone was fine.

I'm fired up now for Steelers football!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sienna Being Sienna

I'm a few days late with this story, but Sienna Miller had an "incident" at a Pittsburgh bar earlier this week. Apparently, she didn't have her ID and tried to play the "I am Sienna Miller. I am a famous actress!" card. Didn't work. That's never worked for me either.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Rogan's Corner Closes

Almost a year ago, I wrote that Rogan's Corner, my favorite pizza place of all-time located in Ithaca, New York, was essentially gone. At the time, I heard that two guys took over the restaurant and the pizza was not nearly as good. Anyway, Rogan's Corner apparently really is gone, at least temporarily. The store abruptly announced it would close last week and apparently had an "everything must go" sale. There were huge discounts on beer, Red Bull and even posters on the wall. According to The Ithacan, the two guys who were leasing Rogan's hadn't paid rent in four months! They must have really screwed up the pizza because that place was a goldmine being less than a mile from a college campus of 6,000+ students.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Stop the Blame Game

I don't get political much here, but things like this really upset me. Senator John McCain, who is someone I like for speaking his mind and not always going with the party line, is blaming President Clinton for the current North Korea situation. While the Yahoo article does not give the entire transcript of McCain's statement, he said, "I would remind Senator (Hillary) Clinton and other Democrats critical of the Bush administration's policies that the framework agreement her husband's administration negotiated was a failure." Whether that's true or not, the Bush administration and a Republican Congress have been in power for SIX YEARS! At the six-year mark, you really should have some type of foreign policy plan for North Korea.

Why not blame Harry Truman for going into Korea too? What about Eisenhower's post-Korean War strategies? I understand that the only reason McCain is saying this is for his 2008 Presidential bid. It's just frustrating.

How I Met Your Mother

I watched HIMYM last night for the first time this season. (I'm addicted to Prison Break which is on at the same time. Yes, I have started looking into TiVo.) I've missed a few episodes, but when did Ted and Robin get together and what happened to Marshall and Lily? Yes, I realize that these are fictional characters.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Weekend Sports Questions

What's wrong with the Steelers? (I could write more here, but it's 12:22 AM, so maybe tomorrow/today.)

Why do people make Terrell Owens out to be the worst player in the NFL? Yes, he's selfish and I would never want him on the Steelers. However, he's never been arrested for domestic violence, weapons charges or worse like other NFL players.

Florida Gator fans: Why do you hate Chris Leak? Is it just because you want Tim Tebow to start?

Did you know Pitt had a running game?

Why is Bill Walsh doing these annoying Coors commercials? Does he need the money?

One more that I forgot last night: If you were the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, would you trade Zach Duke and a relief pitcher (Matt Capps, John Grabow or Salomon Torres) for Alex Rodriguez, assuming the Yankees would cover much of A-Rod's salary?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Cleaning House

I found a box at my parents' house that never made the trip to my home in Virginia. The box includes some old newspapers that (at the time) I thought would be cool to keep. Here's what I found:

November 9, 2000 - Columbus Dispatch: Headline: Waiting, wondering. Florida, Oregon and New Mexico are all too close to call. Gore leads Bush in the total popular vote by 100,000 votes. The recount is underway. I think we're still a few weeks before "hanging chads."

September 9, 1998 - San Diego Union Tribune ("U-T"): Mark McGwire breaks Maris' home run record.

September 17, 1998 - U-T: Sammy Sosa hits home run #63; I was at the game, but not mentioned or pictured in the story.

May 21, 2001 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: I think I kept this because there's a feature story about food vendors and beermen at PNC Park (at the time, I was working part-time as a "Beerman" in Columbus. The top story is President Bush's remarks at Notre Dame University where he called for an "assault on poverty." I haven't heard much (or anything) about this in the last five and a half years or so.

December 15, 2000 - USA Today: An article about NFL radio announcers featuring Myron Cope.

June 20, 2001 - Baltimore Sun: Cal Ripken retires.

September 28, 1998 - U-T: McGwire ends the season with 70 home runs. I don't think that record will ever be topped!

October 15, 1998 - U-T: The Padres are the National League Champions defeating the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately, the World Series did not go as well against the Yankees. There's a quote on the front page by the late Ken Caminiti. Baseball was fantastic in 1998. Eight years later, that season doesn't seem quite right.

Now I have decide which papers to keep and which papers to throw away.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Burnt Sienna

Burnt Sienna is a type of Crayola crayon in the brown family with personality traits including simplicity, comfort, quality, harmony, home, and down to earth. Based on her comments to "Rolling Stone" magazine, Sienna Miller represents none of these characteristics. If you haven't heard, Miller refers to my hometown as something that starts with "sh" and rhymes with Pittsburgh and said "Can you believe this is my life? Will you pity me when you're back in your funky New York apartment and I'm still in Pittsburgh? I need to get more glamorous films."

Excuse me, but who are you? What movies have you been in? The only reason you're famous is because you dated (are dating?) Jude Law, who cheated on you with the nanny. Oh, and now you're famous again for trashing a city that you've only seen from your hotel room. This is the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's article where I first saw the story this morning. Miller quickly came out this afternoon to say that her remarks were taken out of context. So what context were you trying to use? In a statement issued by her publicist, Miller said was referring to the fact that the production was shooting mostly at night and she had not had a chance to fully explore the city. "What I have seen of it is beautiful. I came once before to visit The Andy Warhol Museum whilst researching a film and found both the city and its inhabitants warm and gracious," she said. Keep working on that spin (and don't use the word whilst in an apology). 

What I find really ironic is that Miller's father is from Meadville, Pennsylvania, only about 1.5 hours from Pittsburgh. Her dad is planning to show her around Pittsburgh this weekend. I recommend the Aviary where maybe some birds will "Pittsburgh" on her head. That's not very nice of me. That's not at all like a Pittsburgher. Sorry Sienna. For this weekend the Warhol Museum is great; take the incline to Mount Washington; stop by the O for a hot dog and fries and/or go to Primanti's; the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning are always interesting; the Carnegie Museum has dinosaurs and more; and catch a Steelers game while you're in town (I'm sure you can use some connections). 

 For more comments by regular folks, check out Rolling Stone and ThePittsburghChannel.com.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wednesday Wrap

Is it bad to have bagels, cream cheese and lox for dinner three straight nights? I say it's fine!

Does anyone realize that the hockey season starts tonight? I didn't either until about two hours ago.

Speaking of hockey, here are some of the players that made the Penguins roster: Nils Ekman, Dominic Moore, Jarkko Ruutu, Karl Stewart, Chris Thorburn, Mark Eaton (not the 80s basketball player) and Kris Letang. Who are these guys? I remember knowing every single player on the Penguins roster and now I'm lucky to know a third.

Not that many of you care, but my primary fantasy baseball team had a terrible final week of the season causing me to go from 5th place (in the money) to 7th place (not in the money) out of 12 teams. However, I really like my chances for next year. I have a solid nucleus and just need a #1 starter and a good power hitter. I think I sound like the Pirates.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Music of 2000

I spent the summer of 2000 in England where I got to enjoy the pop music scene. The British seemed to have the best American songs at the time as well as the hits from throughout Europe. Before I returned to the U.S., I bought “Now That’s What I Call Music Volume 46.” I recently listened to disc #1 and thought I would share some thoughts about the featured artists.

The first song on the CD is “Oops!...I Did it Again” by Britney Spears. Who would have thought that six years later Britney would have two kids, chew gum in national TV interviews and be married to a guy named K-Fed?

Samantha Mumba – Her song actually made it in the U.S. and she was in the movie “The Time Machine” with Guy Pearce, which bombed. Maybe she’s still big in Europe, but I haven’t heard from her in years. At this point of her career, I thought she would be the equivalent of someone like Ashanti or Christina Milian.

Louise – Just one name like Cher or Madonna, only you probably haven’t heard of her. She had a catchy song called “2 Faced” and was also famous for marrying a soccer player named Jamie Redknapp. Think Posh Spice & David Beckham only not famous.

Aaliyah – Now she definitely would have been a superstar. She died much too young.

*NSync / Backstreet Boys – We are all grateful that both groups are not still around. Six years later, I’m going to compare which band was better:
*NSync – Justin Timberlake has one of the top selling albums in the country; JC Chasez dated Eva Longoria; Chris Kirkpatrick got mentioned in an Eminem song; Lance Bass was on the cover on “People” earlier this year and Joey Fatone was in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”
Backstreet Boys – Nick Carter dated Paris Hilton and is the older brother of Aaron Carter who at one point had Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff fighting over him. Aaron Carter was also engaged to one of Nick Carter’s former girlfriends but he broke off the engagement. What a nice family! Perfect for a reality TV show! I have no idea who else was in this group.
The winner: *NSync

Kylie Minogue – Besides Steve Irwin, is she the best known Australian? (Before answering this question, please note that Nicole Kidman was born in Honolulu and Russell Crowe was born in New Zealand).

Richard Ashcroft – You may not know the name but he was the lead singer of the Verve. Maybe the band doesn’t sound familiar but you probably know their song “Bittersweet Symphony.” I thought the band would be bigger but that didn’t happen.

Coldplay – There’s a song call “Yellow” on the CD. I wonder what ever happened to them.

Bloodhound Gang – Even when the song “The Bad Touch” came out, you knew they would be a one hit wonder. You may remember this group for the famous lyrics “Let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.” Shocking that they couldn’t come up with another hit.

Other artists on the CD include Moby, Tom Jones, Shania Twain and Mary Mary. It’s a very eclectic CD but great for a road trip.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

September Referrals

With the Steelers on a bye this week, I figured now would be a good time for this monthly feature. For the new reader(s) out there, I am “borrowing” this idea from Sarah. Again, these are real searches (usually from Yahoo or Google) that people used to find and visit this place:

suzy kolber tattoo
Are you asking if Suzy Kolber has a tattoo or if someone has a tattoo of Suzy Kolber? Sorry, but I don’t know the answer to either question. Is this Joe Namath?

How to catch a punt
I would suggest using both hands and keeping your eye on the ball. Is this Ricardo Colclough?

"sean hannity is hot"
Really? This must be Sean Hannity “Googling” himself.

worst moment pittsburgh sports history
In no particular order, I’ll go with the recent Duquesne shootings, Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS – the Sid Bream game, Game 7 of the Penguins-Islanders series (1993?), every Steelers AFC Championship game loss – especially the loss to the Chargers, Roberto Clemente’s plane crash, the last 13 years of Pirates baseball.

refrigerator diaries
Today, the door opened and they took out the milk. Two minutes later, the door opened and they returned the milk.

lyrics "how can i get you alone"
I get this search or a variation of it all the time. I don’t have the lyrics but this song is better if you think Heart is singing “How can I get you a loan?” My suggestion is a bank or credit union.

Booker Stallworth
I went to high school with this guy. I remember when he got in a fight with Greg Martin in 7th or 8th grade. Apparently, he’s now working for a conservative think-tank in the state of Washington.

yom "bob kipper"
Bob Kipper, the greatest Pirates pitcher of all-time with the last name Kipper. Since Yom Kippur starts tonight, I thought this would be an appropriate way to end today’s referrals. For those of you observing Yom Kippur, have a meaningful fast.