Monday, April 28, 2008

The Good Wife’s Guide

I received this May 13, 1955 Housekeeping Monthly article from a colleague several years ago and found it last week while cleaning my office.

• Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

• Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.

• Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

• Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

• Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dustcloth over the tables.

• Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

• Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimise all noise. At the time of his arrival eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.

• Be happy to see him.

• Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

• Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

• Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.

• Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.

• Don't greet him with complaints or problems.

• Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day.

• Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

• Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

• Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

• A good wife always knows her place.

According to Wikipedia, this article may be a hoax. That’s too bad. :)

Surprisingly, there is no mention of Xbox in the article.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pittsburgh Sports Update

If I wrote only a Pittsburgh sports blog, I would be required to discuss the Steelers draft. Since I don’t write a Pittsburgh sports blog, I don’t have to mention that I was surprised to see the Steelers select Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall. I would express a concern that maybe Willie Parker’s recovery from a broken right fibula is not going that well. I would write that Najeh Davenport’s career as a Pittsburgh Steeler could be over. However, I would also state that I saw Mendenhall play in several games last season and he is an explosive running back who is fun to watch. Even if Willie Parker is 100%, Mendenhall can certainly take some carries away from Parker to give him rest for the entire season and playoffs. The Parker-Mendenhall combination could be one of the best running back tandems in the NFL. Although I would have liked to have seen the Steelers draft an offensive or defensive lineman in the first or second round, the team drafted two players, Mendenhall and six-foot-four wide receiver Limas Sweed of the University of Texas (a steal at #53), that can help them immediately.

Game two of the Penguins-Rangers series airs today at 2 on NBC. As always, go to The Pensblog and the Post-Gazette’s Empty Netters for all of your Penguins coverage.

Oh, the Pirates lost again too and their record is currently 9-15. That would be the second worst record in the National League, ahead of only the Washington Nationals’ 8-17. I can’t wait to see the epic Nationals-Pirates game in person on Thursday night.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Missing Matzo

One of the joys of Passover is the opportunity to eat lots of matzo over the eight-day holiday. Therefore, when faced with the opportunity to buy matzo by the individual box or the 5-pack, I always buy the larger quantity. (Please note that there's a bit of sarcasm in these sentences.) Actually, the cost of buying the 5-pack is less than purchasing two individual boxes. However, when Passover ends, we always seem to have an extra box or two and don’t know what to do with them. Matzo is technically food, so I feel uncomfortable just throwing an unopened box away. In the past, I have had non-Jewish colleagues take a box or two (they enjoy the taste; my response is what taste), but I don’t think that’s going to be an option this year.

However, Streit’s, one of the companies that make Kosher for Passover food, seems to have created a solution. We purchased Streit’s five-pack of matzo this year and discovered a few days ago, well after we opened the first two boxes, that one box was lighter than the others. One box is packaged and sealed exactly like the other four boxes, but this box is completely empty. That’s right; we ended up buying four boxes of matzo and one box of an empty box. I feel like I should complain but I don’t want an extra box of matzo in exchange as we’re not going to eat a fifth box. If I called Streit’s would they even take me seriously? I'm not upset about the missing matzo, but I feel like this is something that I should share.

Only 84 hours until non-matzo pizza!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Here I Go Again on My Own

Notice something odd in today’s Yahoo top searches?

Today's Top Searches (sorry for the list format; I couldn't figure out how to cut and paste the actual portion of the website)

1. Kristy Lee Cook
2. Danica Patrick
3. Nikki Reed
4. Earth Day 2008
5. Going Green Tips
6. Boston Marathon
7. Death Row
8. Whitesnake
9. 2010 Mitsubishi MIEV
10. TV Turn Off Week 2008

You might think that it is Nikki Reed at #3, who after doing a search, I discovered is an actress who wrote and starred in the movie Thirteen. Of course, just because I have never heard of her does not mean anything.

Continue on the list where you will see Whitesnake at #8. You may remember Whitesnake from their monster 80s hits "Is This Love" and "Here I Go Again." You may be more familiar with them because lead singer David Coverdale’s girlfriend (and later wife), Tawny Kitaen, danced on the hood of a car in their video. Regardless, why, in 2008, is Whitesnake #8 on the Yahoo top search list? If Whitesnake can make it maybe Sean’s Ramblings will enter the list tomorrow. In fact, go to Yahoo now, and type Sean’s Ramblings on the search. You’d much rather see Sean’s Ramblings on this list than TV Turn Off Week 2008!

Update 4/23: Sean's Ramblings did not make Yahoo's Top Searches list. Instead, Bum Bot finished at #5; Drew Lane WRIF at #9; and ACT Scores at #10. WTF!

Books I Want To Read

This is the most self-explanatory title I may I have ever written. If I continue this trend, the title of my next post will be "Please Buy My California Tortilla Burrito Coupons. I’ll Give You a Great Deal." Anyway, there have been several times over the last few years when I have asked for suggestions on books to read. For the first time possibly forever, I’m not looking for suggestions. Instead, I figured I would share my list and see if anyone has read any of these books. In addition, feel free to share what books you are reading or books you recommend in the comments section. Maybe this will turn into a book club (well, maybe a book club where people suggest books)

Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich.

This book may be better known now as the movie 21. I’m guessing that the book does not contain a line where Kevin Spacey’s character says "Don’t call me dude."

Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart

Recommended by one of my trivia teammates. This is the summary:

Misha Vainberg is an obese 30-year-old Russian heir to a post-Soviet fortune. After living in the Midwest and New York City for 12 years, he considers himself "an American impounded in a Russian body." But his father in St. Petersburg has killed an Oklahoma businessman and then turned up dead himself, and Misha, trying to leave Petersburg after the funeral, is denied a visa to the United States.

Andy Roddick Beat Me with a Frying Pan: Taking the Field with Pro Athletes and Olympic Legends to Answer Sports Fans' Burning Questions by Todd Gallagher

I read about this through one of Gene Weingarten’s Washington Post chats. This should be a fun and funny book.

God Save the Fan: How Preening Sportscasters, Athletes Who Speak in the Third Person, and the Occasional Convicted Quarterback Have Taken the Fun Out of Sports (And How We Can Get It Back) by Will Leitch

Leitch is the founding editor of Deadspin, the best spots blog in the world. I enjoy reading his work everyday, so I expect nothing less from this book.

Jews and Judaism in the 21st Century: Human Responsibility, the Presence of God and the Future of the Covenant by Edward Feinstein

Just in case I want a change of pace.

X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft and Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking by Jeff Gordinier

The premise of this book is that members of Generation X are not slackers. I like where the book is headed! Plus, Nick Hornby wrote that he loved the book. That seals the deal for me. I actually considered going to see Gordinier do a reading of his book when I was on vacation in Seattle.

Are You There, God? It's Me. Kevin by Kevin Keck

Keck offers his drug-induced view on living life with as little effort as possible while delving into the possibility of God and organized religion versus spirituality. He recalls his past 10 years, explaining the influence of his family (his crazy mother who wakes him up by putting a butcher knife to his throat) and his unfulfilled decision to descend into priesthood (It was cool to tell people you were becoming a priest, especially if you had a beer in your hand). He gets roped into teaching Sunday school, where he delivers half-baked sermons on evolution and abortion, yet the church parents can't stop raving about the positive impact he's had on their children.

I don’t think Keck is a member of Generation X.

Anything by David Halberstam. I bought Summer of '49 at a used book sale from the library last year, so this is the one I should probably read. Halberstam is one of my favorite authors.

My Life by Bill Clinton.
I don’t remember how I got this book, but it’s in my house. The problem is that the hardback book is over 1000 pages making it a little heavy for the bus & Metro.

My wife bought The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Dan wrote about this book a few weeks ago in that it is #1 on the best-seller list. Pausch is the terminally ill CMU professor who is now known internationally. Just for fun, I placed this book on hold through the Fairax County Public Library system. I am currently #213 in the queue. This has to be the highest number since the seventh Harry Potter book.

In case you were wondering, I’m currently reading All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren’s loosely fictionalized account of Governor Huey Long of Louisiana. This book may be older than the other 10 on the list combined.

Again, feel free to leave your comments below. Maybe this will turn into the Ramblings book club!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Like Madonna, Cher and Bono, he needs only one name and they’re coming to America today. Actually, he is Neil Diamond and his North American tour is coming to the Verizon Center in DC on Tuesday, August 5. While I wrote about wanting to see the Spice Girls several months ago, I was half-joking. If someone offered me free tickets to the Spice Girls, of course I would go; however, I was not willing to pay actual money to see them. I would pay to see Neil Diamond.

In fact the first concert I ever attended was Neil Diamond at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. It was probably 1981 or 1982, and I went with my parents and younger brother, who managed to sleep for nearly the entire show (I think he was only 3 or 4). If I remember correctly, he woke up to hear exactly one song, America, which was the show’s final song and featured a fluorescent American flag hanging above the stage.

Back to 2008, tickets for Neil’s DC show go on sale to the general public on Monday, April 28. But I am not the general public! Tickets go on sale for me (and everyone else with an American Express card) this Monday, April 21, at 10:00 AM Eastern time. According to the hated Ticketmaster website, tickets are $55-$120. As I mentioned in the Spice Girls post linked above, I’m sure that Ticketmaster charges will be another $25. While I really don’t want to pay that much for tickets, the cheapest seats for Neil Diamond are going to be almost $40 less than Spice Girls tickets. Neil has more hits and a much longer career than the Spice Girls can ever dream of having. Well, maybe not Posh Spice because she has David Beckham money. Regardless, in twenty years, do you think there will be a movie featuring a Spice Girls cover group like there was for Neil Diamond in the underrated Saving Silverman?

So the question now is if I got a Neil Diamond ticket, would anyone go with me?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kosher for Passover Sunscreen

It’s fun to see how people find Sean’s Ramblings through Google and Yahoo searches. While I receive dozens of hits from folks seeking information about plans for Jenna Bush’s wedding or Spider Pig lyrics, here are a few "interesting" referrals:

all sunscreens kosher for Passover
Are there non-Kosher for Passover sunscreens? Seriously, how could sunscreen not be Kosher for Passover since you’re not eating it (I hope!)?

John Cangelosi marry Beyonce
Can you imagine the headlines on People or Page Six if this actually happened? I’m guessing that only four people who read this actually know who John Cangelosi is.

Why was Ithaca College upset with Barry Manilow
There are just too many reasons.

bestman speech/bestman speeches/bestman speeches for free
There must be a lot of speeches out there if a Bestman ever gets married. Are there specific speeches for someone with the last name of Besterman or Betterman (as in Pearl Jam’s song)?

Do you love me Sean?
Depends who’s asking.

We invited Jason to the wedding but he was a no show.
I hope that it wasn’t this Jason.

dreadlock hair celebration expo
This is an expo in which I’ll never be invited. (Tear)

Pictures of Edgar Snyder
Here’s one for you. Enjoy!

Finally, enjoy a nice Happy Passover message from the Matzah Man/Men.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Seattle & Victoria Vacation

I’ve promised details about my vacation to the Seattle, Washington area and Victoria, British Columbia so this is it. I have also included a few pictures, but please bear with me as this was the first time I have ever used a digital camera. Yes, I know that it is 2008. I’ve also heard good things about this new VCR thing.

Before the pictures, I wanted to share a few notes:

- I’m a big fan of the Suquamish Clearwater Casino, especially the $3 blackjack tables. I finished up $11, which is a significant difference from Atlantic City last month. My favorite moment was when I hit on 15, got an 8 and then watched the dealer pay me after he busted on his final hand before a break. I noticed the mistake as did everyone else at the table and probably the new dealer who was about to start his shift, but no one said anything. I think it’s a rule that if the dealer makes a mistake in your favor, no one says anything.

- I’m also a big fan of taking a ferry into Seattle. What a neat way to commute with a snack bar, free wireless internet and much better views than Metro. Unfortunately, I worried that we might crash like the ferry did on Grey’s Anatomy (the episode when they should have killed off Meredith). Of course, on Grey’s Anatomy, the boat ran into a bridge. There were no bridges between Bainbridge Island and Seattle’s Pier 52.

- In Victoria, I happened to catch the beginning of Live with Regis and Kelly while flipping through stations. Although the show looked exactly the same as the American version and even had Kelly Ripa, Regis was replaced by Pat Sajak.

- Attending a session of British Columbia’s Parliament (the equivalent of a state legislature), even though it was only for a few minutes, was one of the unexpected highlights of the trip. I have no idea what they were talking about, but after a person spoke, the people in his or her party clapped and banged on the table. When a member of the opposite party spoke, they openly jeered. It was somewhat like Prime Minister’s Questions in the UK.

- If the Penguins were facing British Columbia’s own Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals and I happened to be at Parliament during that time, I would have risked ejection and possible arrest to yell Go Penguins.

- By the way, we received the Globe and Mail, "Canada’s National Newspaper," in our Victoria hotel room, which included predictions by the paper’s hockey experts. Roy MacGregor deserves credit for predicting that Ottawa would defeat Pittsburgh in seven games. Wonderful selection! In all seriousness, Matthew Sekeres deserves credit for predicting a Penguins sweep and Allan Maki and Tim Wharnsby both picked Pittsburgh in five games.

- If you ever go to Seattle, you must visit these stores: The Elliot Bay Book Company; Golden Age Collectables; and Metsker Maps of Seattle.

- World spiritual leaders seem to be following me. The Dalai Lama arrived in Seattle on Friday, April 11 while I was in the city and now the Pope is visiting Washington.

- The Dalai Lama did not throw out the first pitch of the Mariners-Angels game I attended. For some reason, I don’t think it would be his thing. Maybe he watched Naked Gun and is worried that Reggie Jackson may try to kill him.

- I did not have an Ichiroll at Safeco Field.

Seattle pictures:

Victoria Pictures:

This is an illegal picture from the Royal BC Museum. We almost got kicked out for taking a picture with a flash. I blame the camera!

Mariners Game Pictures:

On the way back to the hotel from the Mariners game, we saw the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile randomly parked in a Bellevue, Washington park and ride. A picture had to be taken.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

2008 Steelers Schedule

It's hard to think about the Steelers while the Penguins are off to a great start in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but the 2008 schedule was released on Tuesday.

7 -- Houston, 1 p.m. (CBS)
14 -- at Cleveland, 8:15 p.m. (NBC)
21 -- at Philadelphia, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)
29 -- Baltimore, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

5 -- at Jacksonville, 8:15 p.m. (NBC)
12 -- Off
19 -- at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (CBS)
26 -- New York Giants, 4:15 p.m. (FOX)

3 -- at Washington, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
9 -- Indianapolis, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)
16 -- San Diego, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)
20 -- Cincinnati, 8:15 p.m. (NFL Network)
30 -- at New England, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)

7 -- Dallas, 4:15 p.m. (FOX)
14 -- at Baltimore, 1 p.m. (CBS)
21 -- at Tennessee, 1 p.m. (CBS)
28 -- Cleveland, 1 p.m. (CBS)

With the exception of the November 20th game against the Bengals, the times and TV network may change due to flexible scheduling during the last seven weeks.

I think the first reaction for many folks is that there are very few 1:00 starts. Pittsburgh is still in the Eastern time zone, right? Selfishly, the 4:15 starts means more opportunities for the Steelers games to air on national TV. However, the team is going to have to adjust to a different start time every week.

I’m already working on planning road trips to Jacksonville and Cincinnati. Actually, going to the Pitt-Navy game in Annapolis on Saturday, October 18 and then to Cincinnati for the Steelers-Bengals game on Sunday could be difficult, but I’ll worry about that later. I’m still hoping to attend the Washington game in November, but as I’ve already discovered, group tickets are not available. If I have to watch it on TV, at least I won’t have to see many pictures of DC monuments and buildings on the eve of a Presidential election.

For more on the Steelers schedule, go to the Steelers website, Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies, Blog N Gold, Doubt About It, and Mondesi’s House.

Tie or Tide

I think that I have been using an expression incorrectly my entire life. If I had an afternoon snack, I would say that this will tie me over until dinner. I believe that the phrase is actually this will tide me over until dinner. The word tide here makes no sense to me. When I think of tide, I picture water, the ocean or laundry detergent. This expression really can’t be tide, can it?

I promise to have information about my Seattle trip soon.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Shawty Got Low x8

I’m home from my Seattle and Victoria vacation and will write more about the trip over the next few days. I may even share pictures if I can figure out how to get the pictures from the digital camera to the computer.

Although we weren’t in the car all that often during the vacation, the song we heard the most was “Low” by Flo Rida (not to be confused with the state Florida). The main character of the song, Shawty, had apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur. She also had them baggy sweat pants and the Reeboks with the straps. This raises several questions. Is Shawty wearing all of this at the same time? Did she magically change clothes on the floor, I mean flo? Is Flo Rida discussing two different women referred to as Shawty? The song does not seem to clarify this so I thought I would share my questions with all of you.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Greetings from Seattle

I am writing live from the Pacific Northwest. No sign of Frasier Crane or McDreamy yet, but if I see them in the next few days, I'll be sure to let everyone know.

Off to Victoria in the morning. I'll try not to disturb the British Columbia Parliament too much. Is it in poor taste to ask everyone where Big Ben is located? I would hate to cause an international incident on vacation.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Steelers Gear in Seattle

My Seattle vacation is only days away, but I have not started packing for the trip. However, after reading this article from last week, I may not bring any Steelers gear:

A 24-year-old South Kitsap man — and self-proclaimed Seattle Seahawks fan — was arrested Sunday for allegedly spitting on the hamburger he prepared for a man wearing Pittsburgh Steelers attire, according to Kitsap County Sheriff's Office reports.

Deputies said the 37-year-old man in Steelers garb took his daughters to a Mile Hill Drive fast food restaurant Saturday evening, and "began trading friendly barbs about his team and their victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL," reports said.

One employee told the man that he'd "better not say that to the guy that's making your food," but the man thought it was a joke, reports said.

That is, until he opened his "clamshell-style" hamburger container and discovered what he called a "loogie" on his hamburger.

The 37-year-old told his daughters to stop eating, demanded a refund and called the restaurant's district manager.

A deputy was informed by the manager that the person responsible may be a 24-year-old South Kitsap man who was near his quitting time when the incident occurred. He also failed to show up for work the next day, the manager said.

The deputy went to the 24-year-old's house, and when he knocked on the door, a voice from inside yelled that he "wasn't buying any ... girl scout cookies," the deputy said.

The deputy told him, "I won't sell you any," and when the man opened the door, the deputy "was immediately confronted with the strong odor of burnt marijuana."

Eventually, the man brought the deputy a bag of marijuana and he was arrested. The man also confessed to spitting in the 37-year-old's hamburger container to "gross him out ... because he was a Steelers fan," deputies said.

He was booked into the Kitsap County jail for fourth-degree assault and possession of marijuana and released.

While I know that the former chef is extreme in his actions against a Steeler fan, I think we have already established that the majority of Seahawks fans do not like the Steelers. It has been more than two years since the Steelers-Seahawks Super Bowl. It’s OK to move on! However, just to be sure, if people ask me where I am from during the trip, I may have to say Washington DC since that's where I currently live.

I may try to post something while I’m away but I’m not making any promises. Much of my time during the trip may be spent trying to figure out how to use my new digital camera. In the meantime, check out some great sites linked on the right and try the quizzes and games that I wrote about yesterday.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Game Time

This may be the most difficult quiz I have ever posted. Your challenge is to name 50 songs based on the complete lyrics of each song. Sounds easy enough, right? However, the lyrics are placed in alphabetical order, with each word appearing no more than once (regardless of how many times it appears in the actual song). For example, let’s take the first line of the song "Luka" by Suzanne Vega. (I have no idea why I selected this song since it’s a really easy example. How many songs do you know with "Luka" in the lyrics?) The first line of the song is:

My name is Luka I live on the second floor.

For the sake of this example, let’s also say that this is the only line of the song, repeated over and over again. The quiz would show the lyrics as:

floor I is live Luka my name on second the

Just a warning that this quiz may take around 30 minutes, so this could be a weekend activity. As a hint, most songs tend to be classic rock and R&B songs. In addition, there is only one song from the past 20 years. In case you were wondering, I scored a 25. My friend Jason managed to get a 36.

The second game doesn’t take nearly as long. In fact, if you make it to 18 seconds, you’re doing great. My record is 19 seconds, but I’ve only done that once in dozens of attempts. Click and hold the red square and move it so that you neither touch the walls nor get hit by any of the blue blocks. According to honeykbee, Air Force candidates are required to make it to two minutes, minimum. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to get to the game here without clicking on this link, but this is what the game looks like.

Again, click here to play the game. Good luck!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Digital Camera

In preparing for the upcoming vacation, we thought it might be about time to join the 21st century and purchase a digital camera. Unfortunately, I know absolutely nothing about digital cameras, how to upload pictures, and if you need to buy specific software to do this. There are probably other digital camera questions that I don’t even know enough to ask. So whenever I need advice, I turn to my blog and specifically people who read this for help. HELP!

I have no idea where to start. How much do digital cameras even cost? Does anyone have recommendations about specific types or brands of cameras? Are there features I should look for? Do I need to buy film or a battery separately? Do digital cameras even have film? (Sadly, this last question is not a joke.)

Thanks for any assistance. Of course, I may fall back on my usual way of taking pictures: disposable cameras.