Friday, October 31, 2008

100,000 Milestone

At some point today, Sean’s Ramblings will have its 100,000th visitor. For some reason, I think it is fitting that this milestone is taking place on Halloween. Whether you visit this site multiple times a day (thanks mom) or are one of the thousands of people who have stopped by to learn about Ben Roethlisberger’s pool, Jenna Bush’s wedding plans, the Greg Lloyd Ebay auction, or why people hate Hillary Clinton, thank you.

To those people who continue to find Sean’s Ramblings by searching for pictures of a shirtless Richard Ruccolo (the guy who was not Ryan Reynolds on Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place), please stop.

Update: Congratulations to someone from Brownsville, PA for being the 100,000th visitor at 12:26pm Eastern time! For this honor, you win a picture of a shirtless Richard Ruccolo (if he allows you).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama Food vs. McCain Food

Although the Presidential election is still a few days away, some businesses, such as the three below, want to get into the action with their own election.

Visit your local 7-Eleven for the 7-Election (get it? 7-election instead of 7-11? clever) and place your vote by choosing either an Obama or a McCain cup of coffee. The website even has state by state results, although many "red" states have no 7-Eleven stores operated or franchised by 7-Eleven Inc.

If there's any post about food on this site, California Tortilla generally gets mentioned. In this case, California Tortilla is tallying the number of each of the candidate’s burritos sold from October 13th through November 3rd and they guarantee that whosever burrito sells the most will win the election.

The McCain-Chilada: Mexican rice, mesquite chicken, tortilla strips, velvety queso, fresh salsa, and shredded lettuce, rolled in a warm flour tortilla, smothered with green enchilada sauce and garnished with sour cream and cilantro.

The O-Chili-bama Burrito: Mexican rice, turkey chili, tortilla strips, jalapeño peppers, sour cream, and shredded lettuce, rolled in a warm flour tortilla, smothered with velvety queso and garnished with fresh salsa and green onions.

Now through, well, today, cast your ballot by ordering one of the special election omelettes at Silver Diner. The Obamalette (inspired by the candidate’s favorite hometown food, Chicago deep dish pizza – a pizza omelette?) vs. the McCainlette (indicative of the candidate’s home state of Arizona, as well as his favorite way to cook, Barbecue).

I’m sure there are more of these McCain-Obama food and drink election deals out there, but I couldn’t find any others. If you type Obama vs. McCain into Google, there are 31,900,000 results. I only got through about 13,154,120 before I gave up. If you know of any places doing this, feel free to share in the comments section.

Only five days until this is all over!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Hank Williams Jr. Experience

I know very little about Hank Williams Jr., but I like him for two main reasons. First, the Monday Night Football theme based on his song "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight" is an incredible, pump-you-up song. Second, Williams is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. These may be shallow reasons to like Hank Williams Jr., but that works for me.

However, I’m starting to get a little worried about Williams. He sang the national anthem during the Monday night game this week while wearing a Tennessee Titans jersey. I can’t say that I agree with him wearing a jersey other than a Steelers one, but I guess that he wanted to make a good impression for everyone in Nashville (even though you would think he would already be well received by Tennessee fans based on Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year awards and the Monday Night Football song). Unfortunately, this seems to be a trend for Williams. In the video below, Williams is shown wearing a Denver Broncos jersey and a Washington Redskins jersey. Yes, there is video of him wearing a Steelers’ Joey Porter jersey, but he may be hanging out with Sarah Palin a little too much lately.

On to the video, just after the 3:35 mark, Williams states, "If [Obama’s] elected with his agenda the American restaurant business is over. Just plain and simple, it’s over." Now Williams is referring to a conversation he apparently had with an owner of a large restaurant chain, but, um, what? Neil Cavuto looks rather surprised and questions Williams by asking, "People are not going to eat," but Williams doesn’t hear him. What an odd comment by Williams from an odd interview. Just as a side note, I don’t think that Neil Cavuto will ever be confused with Edward R. Murrow as an interviewer.

h/t Messiah, now part of White Nerdy Wonks

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Trivia Tuesday

We’re back on a normal schedule as I went to trivia last night. Today’s challenge is to name the highest grossing domestic box office movie in the following decades. The year the movie was released is included below.

1930’s (1939)

1940’s (1940)

1950’s (1956)

1960’s (1965)

1970’s (1977)

1980’s (1982)

1990’s (1997)

2000’s (2008)

The usual rules apply. Please do not use the internet for the answers. Either you know it or you don’t. As always, please leave your answers in the comments section below. Good luck!

Thanks to the folks at Stump Trivia for creating these quizzes.

Sean Blogs

Between watching the Washington Redskins-Detroit Lions game and monitoring my fantasy football teams, I decided to create a comprehensive list of blogs with Sean in the title. This is what happens when the soccer games I am supposed to referee get cancelled because of muddy fields. Anyway, check out the Sean Blogs!

One of the best hockey blogs out there is Sean Leahy’s Going Five Hole. The blog is so good, that I already linked to it.

Sean in Saskatchewan is Sean Shaw, who is a Professional Research Associate in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan and the Vice-chair of the Saskatoon Environmental Advisory Committee. This is the place to go for Saskatchewan politics. (I have no idea if this is true, but this is the only place I have gone for Saskatchewan politics!)

Sean the Baptist has been appointed as the Professor of New Testament Studies for the Uniting Church in Australia in the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, and within the Uniting Church's Theological College in Melbourne. Although the appointment doesn’t begin until January 1, 2009, Sean hasn’t updated the blog since October 10.

Although he is the manager/webmaster of AnimeUSA, this is Sean P. Aune’s personal website where he writes about who is the best James Bond, his hatred of Dirty Dancing and the PG Porn series. Of all of Sean blogs listed here, this is the one I will probably visit more than any other.

Sean Tiner works in advertising in Laguna Beach, California. He posts his own art on the website and recently wrote about the users of social media.

Sean and Heather, a married couple in Texas, are starting the adoption process. They invite you to join them on this journey. There is a big twist on the blog as Heather is pregnant. Well, that goes against the blog’s theme, doesn’t it? Congrats and good luck to both of them!

Sean O’Keefe’s Personal Blog written by a teacher assistant in Raleigh, North Carolina is relatively new to the blog world. He tells everyone to vote and has this quote from last month’s Vice Presidential debate:
"Also why is Sarah Palin incapable of responding to the debate where Biden is? Is she really that naieve, dumb, prone to shoot the interviewer like he/she was a moose????" Um, OK.

The Life of Sean and Emma - They are twins who just turned two years old. Awwwwww.

You may be an excellent illustrator, Mr. O’Connor, but is a lazy name for a blog.

Apparently, there is more than one person named Sean out there who is an illustrator. What are the odds? News from Sean Qualls shows some of his work including the children’s book Before John Was a Jazz Giant.

Sean’s Soapbox – Knitting, Spinning, Fiber, Politics: It’s All a Tangled Web. Now that’s a tagline! Plus, you can hear all about Rhinebeck. I don’t know what Rhinebeck is, but "the fiber and yarns are amazing."

Sean Percival’s Blog – Sean is a web developer and author with many years experience of messing around on the Internet for fun and profit. He also proposed at the top of the Empire State Building.

The winner of most successful person Sean in the blog title goes to Cardinal Seán, the Archbishop of Boston, for Cardinal Seán’s blog. Lots of pictures.

There are other Sean blogs I found out there, but they have not been updated in months or years. If you know of other Sean blogs, feel free to include them in the comments below. Please note that I am not including blogs with Shawn, Shawon, Shonn, or Chone in this list.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Steelers-Giants Recap

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a lead late in the fourth quarter at home and lost. Ben Roethlisberger was sacked five times, hit at least another dozen times and threw four interceptions. The team was 1 for 10 on third down, 0 for 4 on fourth down and had 8 penalties for 59 yards, many of them pretty stupid penalties. Plus, the Steelers defense who led the league in sacks coming into the game, failed to register a sack and rarely put pressure on Eli Manning. It was clearly not one of their best games.

However, let’s take a step back and put everything into perspective. The Steelers are 5-2 and have a one game lead over Baltimore, who they already defeated, in the AFC North. The 5-2 record is tied for second best in the AFC with New England and Buffalo behind only the undefeated Tennessee Titans. The Steelers are 5-0 against AFC teams, a very important playoff tie-breaker, which along with the Titans, is the best in the conference. Yes, the team has some work to do, but there’s no need to panic...yet.

A few thoughts from the game:

- Why was Dick Stockton so concerned about players getting out of bounds early in the game? Twice in the first half (Heath Miller’s catch on the first drive and Carey Davis’ catch with 12+ minutes left in the second quarter), Stockton stated that the Steelers failed to get out of bounds after making a catch.

- Ryan Clark and Brett Kiesel both played amazing games.

- Stupid Toyota commercial. I’m going to have "save by zero" in my head all day.

- Nate Washington has turned into an extremely solid receiver.

- The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror XIX" looks really good. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ve seen the whole episode already during all of Fox’s commercials.

- Am I the only person wondering why Justin Hartwig, the Steelers’ starting center, wasn’t able to serve as the back-up long-snapper? Doesn’t Hartwig make a living snapping the ball and then blocking the guy in front of him?

- Can the Steelers have another bye week? I’m writing this on Sunday night, so I don’t know the health status of Ryan Clark, Greg Warren, Mitch Berger and any other Steeler. Regardless, with Willie Parker and Bryant McFadden already out, it seems like the team could use a week off to get healthy.

I will be at FedEx Field for next week’s Steelers-Redskins game. If I was told that the Steelers could only win one of these two games against the Giants and Redskins, I would gladly take a Steelers win against Washington.

More about the game is available on the Post-Gazette website.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Links

At what age does it stop being fun to play in the rain? I worked two games as a soccer referee yesterday in miserable cold and rainy conditions. In the second game, where the weather turned worse than the first one, some of the 15 and 16 year-old kids seemed to be having a great time. I did not, but of course, I was not actually playing. On to the links:

According to WJLA, Presidential candidate John McCain’s brother, Joe, called 911 to complain about traffic on the Wilson Bridge. Not very smart.

I don’t want to write about the Pitt and Ohio State football teams (it’s so frustrating being a Pitt fan; I may write about this in length some day), but at least Ithaca College won defeating Utica 42-7. The win guarantees Ithaca’s 38th consecutive winning season, the second longest such streak in any level of college football. If only the Pittsburgh Pirates would have one winning season!

Jason has a video of the Wazzup guys eight years later.

Puck Daddy interviews Kevin Smith, the director of the upcoming movie Zack and Miri Make a Porno, which was filmed in Pittsburgh.

I was honored to be part of Cotter’s Meeting People is Easy. He does an amazing great job with this weekly feature.

Cotter, of the previously mentioned One for the Other Thumb, and I were featured in a debate about whether the Tennessee Titans will win the AFC. The short answer is no.

Finally, Terry Tate: Office Linebacker is back!

h/t Scribbled Noise for these videos.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Get Off the Express

Perhaps you have heard of the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award in which the winning college football coach receives $70,000 to donate to charity and the school’s alumni association. Perhaps not. Regardless, I want to write about one person who definitely does not deserve the award: Greg Robinson of Syracuse University.

During the mid-1990s, I attended college in central New York about an hour away from Syracuse. I was surrounded by Syracuse University sports fans who always thought that this would be the year where they would win the national title. However, each year, it seemed like Syracuse would be ranked highly, lose a few games early to knock them out of national championship contention and then finish strong, so that they would be ranked highly again the next season. Although they never made it to the “next level,” the team was always competitive and won bowl games and/or Big East titles regularly.

The mid-90s teams featured future NFL superstars Donovan McNabb and Marvin Harrison. Looking back further in Syracuse’s football history, you see legendary names like Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Joe Morris, John Mackey, Art Monk and former Steeler Gary Anderson.

So what happened at Syracuse? I haven’t followed them enough to know. I do know that Greg Robinson has not done very well. In his first year as head coach (2005), Syracuse finished 1-10. In 2006, the team was 4-8 followed by a 2-10 record in 2007. As I am typing this, Syracuse is 1-6 so far this season. Robinson may be a great person, a wonderful teacher and someone helping his players become excellent citizens, role models and college graduates. However, an 8-34 record is not very good, particularly at a school with the football history of Syracuse. Actually, that’s not a very good record for a team consisting of me and the writers of all the blogs listed in the links section!

Finally, you know things aren’t going well when the New York Times reports that the school has hired a search firm for a new coach even though the current coach is still there and has one more year remaining on his contract.

Therefore, I encourage you to vote for anyone for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award; except for Greg Robinson.

In case you were wondering, the slogan for the 2008 Syracuse football team is Get on the Express hence the title. Yes, I wrote hence!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trivia Thursday

This is not a typo. Today really is Thursday. We missed trivia on Monday but went to another one last night instead. Your challenge is this: listed below are the artists. Name the Top 40 song they had beginning with the word "Ain’t."

1. Jennifer Lopez

2. Bill Withers or DMX

3. Diana Ross

4. McFadden & Whitehead

5. Helen Reddy

6. Rufus and Chaka Khan

7. Rolling Stones or Temptations

8. Fats Domino

9. Kid ‘N Play

10. TLC

This may be the hardest trivia ever; however, the usual rules still apply. Please do not use the internet for the answers. Please leave your answers in the comments section below. Good luck!

Update: One time deal - Since this is the hardest trivia ever, feel free to use the internet if necessary.

As always, the quiz was created by the folks at Stump Trivia.

Fairfax Connector Fare Increase Proposal

I feel like I’m up on my current events. I read the Express everyday so I can discuss Pearls Before Swine and the Blog Log with everyone on the Metro. (You should hear the deliberations as the entire car solves the Sudoku puzzle together!) I generally watch the first 20 minutes of Good Morning America and read the headlines on both the Washington Post and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette websites. However, I’m in my own little bubble when it comes to local news. I usually have no idea what’s going on in the DC area unless someone tells me.

So when my colleague asked me about the proposed fare increase on Fairfax Connector buses, which I ride to and from work everyday, I had no idea what she was talking about. Perhaps it’s that bubble thing, but I haven’t seen or heard anything about this. When Metro fares or Metrobus fares go up, the news seems to be everywhere. While the 20,000 Connector riders a day is much smaller than those who use Metro and Metrobus, this is still a fairly significant number.

I visited the Fairfax Connector website, and sure enough, it looks like the fares are going up. The proposed increase would take effect on January 4, 2009 and would be the first increase since 2004. After a little digging, I found that Robert Thomson, AKA Dr. Gridlock, also posted information and his thoughts about the increase on his Washington Post Get There blog. My question is this: are the Fairfax Connector folks going to let its riders know about the hearings set to get public comments on the proposal? I posed this question to Dr. Gridlock, but he didn’t know whether there would be flyers or posters on the buses to inform us passengers. I guess I could have contacted Fairfax Connector about this but, well, asking one person was too much for one day.

For more information about the proposed fare increase visit the Fairfax Connector website, or do what I didn’t and actually contact them with any questions or comments.

Oh, if there are any other Fairfax Connector riders out there who happen to read this, did you know about the increase prior to seeing it here? It would be really cool if Sideburn Guy or Smoking Man read my blog.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Joe The Plumber Moment

Have you ever met a political candidate at the grocery store while wearing pajama pants? I bet that you are thinking that I’m writing about a personal experience. You would be correct. After coming home from work last night, I changed into pajama pants and a T-shirt and ate dinner. Then, I walked over to the grocery store to pick up some very important items such as milk, bananas, and Apple Jacks. Just outside the store, I noticed a guy wearing a suit handing out flyers and introducing himself to everyone walking in and out. The guy turned out to be Mark Ellmore, a candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 8th district. He handed me a flyer as I entered the store. As I was grabbing Kleenex and frozen vegetables (and forgetting to pick up granola), I started reading said flyer. The first thing I wondered was the political party of Mr. Ellmore. It was difficult to find as Mr. Ellmore is a Republican. I’m sure this is something that he does not want to promote in Northern Virginia, the "fake" portion of Virginia.

As I checked out, I decided that if Mr. Ellmore was still outside, I should ask him something as it’s not everyday when I can talk directly to a political candidate. Luckily for me, he was there. So wearing my pajama pants and carrying my two bags of groceries, I asked him about the #1 issue facing Northern Virginians: transportation. He said that he supports extending Metro to Reston and that the incumbent Jim Moran has done nothing about this in his eighteen years in Congress. He did switch away from criticizing Moran back to transportation and said that he would support getting federal funds for Metro. I may be a little off on the exact quote but he said that Metro funding was not an entitlement or an earmark but a necessity. I agree with everything he said about transportation; I just wish that he didn’t start by criticizing his opponent.

Ellmore then he went back to handing out flyers and introducing himself to more voters as I’m sure that he didn’t want to talk too long to a guy wearing pajama pants.

Photo from Mark Ellmore for Congress.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pittsburgh Sports Memories

As part of Mondesi's House Readers Rule Week, I was invited to answer the Pittsburgh-centric questions listed below. I think that this will be posted on the site sometime Tuesday (update: it has been posted; click on the link above), but I wanted to share my responses here anyway.

1. What is your all-time most memorable moment in Pittsburgh sports history?

On Tuesday, May 8, 2001, I was living in Columbus, Ohio and watched game six of the Eastern conference semi-finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres with some friends. After the Penguins won in overtime, the ESPN announcers innocently stated that there were still tickets available for game seven. My friends and I looked at each other, decided to call the Sabres’ ticket office and managed to buy tickets in the last row of the arena. We all left work around noon on Thursday, drove the 325 or so miles to Buffalo and watched live as the Penguins defeated the Sabres in overtime when Darius Kasparaitis beat Dominik Hasek and dove on the ice in celebration. After jumping around and making our way down to the lower section (where I happened to be in the background of ESPN’s interview with Kasparaitis), we drove back to Columbus, had a horrible 4:00 am breakfast at Denny’s and made it to work on Friday.

1A. What is your all-time most forgettable moment in Pittsburgh sports history?

Everyone is going to write about the Francisco Cabrera, Sid Bream and the 1992 National League Championship Series. I still remember staring at the television in disbelief and watching Deion Sanders chase Tim McCarver around the locker room. While this is definitely #1 on my list, I’ll share my #1B least memorable moment in Pittsburgh sports history: the 1994 AFC Championship game between the Steelers and San Diego Chargers. The Steelers were huge favorites, and as we later learned, had plans to create their own "Super Bowl Shuffle" style video. However, Stan Humphries, Tony Martin and Alfred Pupunu ruined it. Trailing 17-13, the Steelers had one final chance on fourth and goal, but the Neil O’Donnell pass was batted away. I never heard Three Rivers Stadium and 55,000 people so quiet. It was silent walking out of the stadium.

2. What makes the city of Pittsburgh special to you?

The pride that people have in the city and its citizens. Maybe it’s just me (though I don’t think so), but we love to tell people about famous Pittsburghers such as Mr. Rogers, Andy Warhol and August Wilson. We love our teams and players from Western Pennsylvania like Jason Taylor, Curtis Martin and all of the legendary quarterbacks (Marino, Unitas , Montana , Kelly, Namath, etc.). I get so excited when I see positive things written about the city as was the case earlier this year when the New York Times and USA Today each published stories about traveling to Pittsburgh . Conversely, we get defensive when an outsider speaks ill of the city as a Seattle writer did prior to the Steelers-Seahawks Super Bowl. Again, I don’t think I’m alone on this. We even have pride in our food and restaurants like Primanti’s, The O and Eat ‘n Park! Maybe other places have this, but I haven’t seen it.

3. What would you consider your all-time favorite Pittsburgh sports team, specific to a single season? (For example, the '90-91 Penguins or the 1979 Pirates)

The 1990-91 Pittsburgh Penguins. I was too young to remember the Steelers’ Super Bowl championships so this was my first opportunity to celebrate any type of Pittsburgh sports title. I have several specific memories during the season. John Cullen was probably my favorite player on the team, and I remember being upset that he got traded to Hartford . Since the Penguins received Ron Francis, Grant Jennings and Ulf Samuelsson in return, I guess things turned out pretty well, but at the time, I knew very little about these guys. I just didn’t understand why the Penguins traded one of their best players. I also remember being at Kennywood during game one of the Stanley Cup Finals (it was our school district’s Kennywood Day) going around the park trying to listen to the game. Finally, and probably the reason why this team is my all-time favorite, the Penguins were all that we talked about during high school after each playoff game. I guess we had tests and homework but there seemed to be nothing else going on in our lives besides the Pens.

Feel free to provide your own answers to these questions in the comments or, if applicable, your own blog, and I'll be happy to link to your post.

Fast Food News

Perhaps you heard about the Wendy’s 60th anniversary special this Wednesday, October 22 in which all hamburgers will be sold for 25 cents, cheeseburgers for 30 cents, fries for 15 cents, and drinks for 10 cents. Unfortunately, it’s not true. For one thing, you would think that the Wendy’s website would promote this heavily. They do not. The biggest indication that this special is false is the fact the first Wendy’s opened on November 15, 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. It’s hard to have a 60th anniversary when you’re not even 40.

In other fast food news, Long John Silver’s is awesome. I don’t get to eat there very often, so when I have the opportunity, I take full advantage, even if the meal and the crumbs take several months off of my life. I’d like to thank the staff at LJS in Abingdon, Virginia for providing an excellent meal and superb customer service. Everyone there was so friendly. It’s basically the exact opposite of the experience you receive at COSI in Arlington, Virginia. LJS is also introducing its first non-fried fish menu items later this month. It may be healthier but it can’t taste as good as the current menu, can it?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Washington Fans Will Love This

Even though he has nearly completed his first term in the House of Representatives, this sign still looks odd, particulary for Washington Redskins fans:

Photo: Sean's Ramblings

Friday, October 17, 2008

Short Vacation

I’m heading to Asheville, North Carolina where I may or may not see Jennifer Thornburg, who has legally changed her name to Cutout to protest animal dissections in schools. For some reason, I can’t imagine her taking a tour of the Biltmore with us.

Here are some other links to entertain you while I’m away:

Puck Daddy breaks down beer costs throughout the NHL. Just for the record, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a $4.50 beer at the Verizon Center.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who will always be known as Zack Morris, chats on about Saved by the Bell, his new show and his new hair.

PSAMP (Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies) found an awesome commercial of the KDKA sports team from at least 15 years ago.

A pole dance exercise studio has been permitted in Butler County, PA. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there will be no nudity at the studio, and no spectators.

Troy Polamalu speaks out about the recent fines against the Steelers.

Finally, here is a link where you can compare neighborhoods in one city to another. For example, Stanton Heights in Pittsburgh is like Friendship Heights, Brentwood or Brightwood in DC.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Selling Out?

Back in January, I wrote that in the three years since I started Sean’s Ramblings, I have earned a total of $0 from writing this blog. Nine months later, I am proud to say that I have made enough money from writing posts about eating free California Tortilla burritos, trivia night questions and Steelers news and information that I should be able to retire by 2108. (Now that is going to be a difficult election!) Actually, that’s not true, as the current total I have earned from this blog remains $0. Regardless of the economy, I guess I’ll never be able to earn a living from this.

Recently, however, I have received several inquiries about money-making opportunities. In one case, I would write about a specific topic, and an advertiser would pay me for my opinion. As long as the advertiser is fine with me possibly slamming the product or issue, I could be OK with this. I guess it all depends on the topic as I’m not going to start writing about shampoo or tax policies. In the other situation, a sports handicapper wants to provide a banner ad on this site. Whether or not I am interested in having ads on this site, I have no idea what to charge for ads or even how to post them.

So my dilemma now is if I want to sell out to make a little money. Will you respect me less if you do? Would you worry about money clouding my opinion on a particular topic? I’m probably over-thinking this. The $5 extra dollars I could possibly make won’t help my retirement accounts. (Although, I could use it for a burrito!)

In the meantime, feel free to send me free stuff! For example, Turner Publishing is the greatest publishing company ever. Yes, I’m biased since they sent me the book Historic Photos of Theodore Roosevelt. There are some amazing pictures of Roosevelt with the Rough Riders and giving his speeches during his presidency. While we are likely tiring of Obama-McCain, the 1912 election between the incumbent William Howard Taft, Roosevelt, running for a third term after a four-year hiatus, and the eventual winner Woodrow Wilson, must have been fun (and I mean this is a non-sarcastic way).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Trip to the Dentist

I am probably one of the few people who enjoys going to the dentist. You see, my dentist gave me an electric toothbrush as a wedding gift, and she never mentions the fact that I don’t floss.* Even though I’ve moved to another part of the Washington DC area, I am loyal to my dentist and drive nearly 25 miles each way for the appointment.

Over the years, I have got to know the office receptionist and the dental hygienists. I have had one hygienist in particular during my last few appointments, and we generally have a good relationship in which we joke with each other. During my most recent appointment on Monday, I innocently asked her if she had traveled anywhere and basically what was new. After a fairly long pause, she shared that she and her boyfriend broke up. Ouch. My witty response: “Well, that is new.”

She chuckled slightly and continued to scrape my teeth with the metal instrument. I wasn’t sure how to respond to this but during the next break, I asked if it was mutual. Nope. The scraping continued. How long were you dating? Four years. Dagger. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to have a metal instrument in my mouth.** I was digging myself into a bigger hole and was happy not to be able to ask further questions. For example, would it have been inappropriate to mention that I have some single guy friends?

Anyway, I also learned that she wanted to get married and he did not; if she had to tell one more person that she got dumped, she was going to vomit; and that she wasn’t able to sleep all weekend. Now I start to worry about the scraping instrument near my tongue and gums. During the next break, I manage to change the topic to soccer refereeing and annoying soccer parents and coaches. Good times!

Oh, and no cavities!

* I’m going to use lacochran’s footnotes again. While there’s a high probability that Oral-B sent my dentist the toothbrush for free, she didn’t have to give it to me as a gift. How many dentists do you know that give their patients gifts? The mini tube of toothpaste doesn’t count!

** This sentence sounds wrong.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Trivia Tuesday

If it’s Tuesday and I went to trivia on Monday night, then it's time for another version of Trivia Tuesday. Your challenge is to name the band or artist with the following Platinum albums:

1. Reasonable Doubt, The Black Album, Kingdom Come

2. Pump, Get Your Wings, Draw the Line

3. Dirty Mind, Controversy, Diamonds and Pearls

4. Nick of Time, Luck of the Draw, Longing in Their Hearts

5. Voodoo Lounge, Goats Head Soup, Black and Blue

6. Blue, Court and Spark, Miles of Isles

7. OK Computer, Pablo Honey, Kid A

8. Eliminator, Afterburner, Recycler

9. Songs in the Key of Life, Hotter Then July, In Square Circle

10. Boy, War, October

The usual rules apply. Please do not use the internet for the answers. Either you know it or you don’t. Please leave your answers in the comments section below. Good luck!

As always, the quiz was created by the folks at Stump Trivia.

How Will We Get Our Britney News?

You may or may not remember that during Passover, we managed to buy an empty box of matzo. The sealed matzo box sans matzo is still in our kitchen because I like to show this off to our guests. (However, now that I wrote this, there is a 95% chance that my wife will throw out the box this week as I haven’t displayed the empty box to any visitor for months.)

Why am I writing about the empty matzo box now six months before Passover? Well, this week my wife received her weekly People magazine in the mail. You can imagine her excitement to read about Nicole Richie’s life as a mom, Angelina Jolie’s body and new tattoos after kids and the exclusive story about Dancing With the Stars’ Cheryl fighting back against people thinking that she’s fat. Imagine her surprise when she noticed an entirely new format to this week’s People and no pictures of either Britney or Jamie Lynn Spears. Instead of celebrity news and pictures and brief reviews of movies, books and television, she found, um, celebrity news and pictures and slightly more detailed reviews of movies, books and television. While the cover of the magazine was People the rest of the magazine was actually Entertainment Weekly. Sorry Angelina; instead we get an article and pictorial of Zac Efron as this week was EW’s Photo Issue.

I called People to ask for a replacement issue, and the customer service representative did not sound very surprised about this situation. They are going to send us a replacement later this week. In the meantime, I guess we’ll have to look at pictures of Emile Hirsch on the set of Ang Lee’s upcoming film, Taking Woodstock and Tina Fey on the set of 30 Rock.

Look for Trivia Tuesday later this afternoon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fortune of the Day

Courtesy of Saturday night’s Chinese food dinner, this was my fortune from the fortune cookie:

Come back later…I am sleeping. (yes, cookies need their sleep, too)

What kind of fortune is this? We need Homer Simpson to write some fortunes immediately.

Homer: These fortunes are terrible. They're supposed to predict stuff and ease you through times of doubt and sickness.
Manager: Well, with all due respect, sir, I suppose you could come up with better fortunes?
Homer: You will be aroused by a shampoo commercial.
Manager: That's not bad!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Weekend Links

There are times during the weekend when you’re waiting for the football game to start or looking to kill time before you go out. Well, I try to help by providing links that are informative and/or entertaining (or at the very least, a way to waste a few minutes). Here are some sports and Sarah Palin links:

Former NFL player Ross Tucker writes on Sports Illustrated that Steeler fans are the best in the league. I’m not going to disagree.

Are you looking for something to do this Columbus Day (that's Monday)? Head to the Forbes Field wall in Oakland (a Pittsburgh neighborhood, not the city in California) to celebrate the anniversary of the 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates’ World Series championship.

ESPN’s Bill Simmons wrote an excellent piece about the recently fired Los Angeles Clippers General Manager, Elgin Baylor. While I knew that Baylor was a great basketball player, I never knew about his full history.

I’m always amazed by Gilbert Arenas. He is a fascinating and likable individual who isn’t afraid to say what he thinks. He may need a filter once in a while like in this interview with Slam.

SLAM: What do you know about Sarah Palin?

Gil: That she’s a female Bush. Retarded. I’m not that into politics, I try to stay away until things get closer. But just from what I can tell she’s a moron. She can’t bullshit yet. As a politician she doesn’t know how to bullshit. She’ll just run around the question. “Who’s better, Kobe or LeBron?” “Well you know D.Wade, he’s been looking nice lately, so those are tough choices.” What the f*ck are you talking about?!

Speaking of Palin, the Alaska legislative probe found that she misused her power. (The comments here are scary and sad on both sides. The election can’t be over soon enough.) In a similar article, Yahoo has some details about Palin’s former brother-in-law who she tried to get fired, Mike Wooten.

Wooten had been in hot water before Palin became governor over allegations that he illegally shot a moose, drank beer in a patrol car and used a Taser on his stepson.

Does Wooten represent the Joe Six-Pack Palin always talks about? (Yes, a bit of a cheap shot here against Palin. My question is this: how was Wooten able to keep his job after these allegations? Did the allegations turn out to be untrue?)

In more Palin news, she is scheduled to drop the puck in Philadelphia on Saturday night for the Flyers-Rangers game. Puck Daddy has some insight from some Philadelphia bloggers. I'm sure this will go well.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quick Yom Kippur Notes

During fall and early winter, people (OK, me) complain about the fact that it gets dark too early. However, on Yom Kippur, I constantly looked to the synagogue skylight hoping that it would be dark.

I also wanted to point out that during the high holidays, I saw the following yarmulkes: Philadelphia Eagles (3), Washington Redskins, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals (saint in a synagogue?), and a couple with either a basketball or soccer ball pattern plus one Pittsburgh Steelers tie (that was me). Surprisingly, there were no Obamicas or McCippahs as mentioned by Arjewtino referring to

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Steelers-Jaguars Recap

I’ll preface this post by writing that I have no idea what Al Michaels or John Madden said during Sunday night’s Pittsburgh Steelers-Jacksonville Jaguars game. I have not read recaps of the game by Pittsburgh newspapers, national sports websites or the Pittsburgh sports related blogs listed on my links list. The following are my comments, thoughts and pictures from attending the game live.

This picture was taken a half hour before game time. Notice the large banner covering two sections on the top left and the Jaguars banner behind the end zone. Apparently, these seats and several other sections throughout the stadium are completely covered during the entire season to help the team avoid blackouts. That would never happen for the Steelers. Oh, Jacksonville has no problem selling these seats for the Florida-Georgia college football game.

I really don’t know what to write about these guys. They were loud and somewhat annoying, but overall, pretty cool. Of course, I was not sitting directly next to them unlike the guy on the left wearing a white shirt. His sleeve ended up being mostly black from the body paint. He wasn't too happy being next to them.

The Steelers with an empty backfield, which they used more on Sunday than during the last 75 years combined. Did Mike Tomlin or Bruce Arians mention anywhere why used this set so often? Did it force the Jaguars to have more defenders in coverage instead of blitzing?

When the Steelers used this set, it seemed like the receivers were Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Nate Washington, Heath Miller and Mewelde Moore. Do the Steelers have a fourth WR?

Occasionally, the Steelers really did run the ball. I think this was one such case. Moore was definitely more effective on the outside as opposed to between the tackles.

Your halftime entertainment was a fireworks/laser show. The smoke was a little overwhelming after it ended. Maybe that’s why Fred Taylor had trouble picking up yards in the second half.

This picture was taken at the end of the game and did not come out well. The guy in the center had green hair and was an obnoxious Jaguars fan. To quote the Pensblog, STUNNED!

Other notes:

- Washington Capitals’ Sergei Federov’s brother Anthony sang the national anthem. Apparently, he was on American Idol.

- After a first down, the Jags fans cheer "Move Them Chains, Move Them Chains, Move Them Chains, Huh." Seemed kind of silly.

- I’m sure that everyone is saying and writing that Ben Roethlisberger is amazing in his ability to make plays after avoiding the pass rush. While he did make a great pass to Hines Ward late in the fourth quarter, he really needs to throw the ball away once in a while. On that particular play, he could (should) have been sacked, which may have knocked the Steelers out of field goal range. He probably did take 3 sacks during the game when he could have thrown it away. Yes, I’m nitpicking, but it really is OK to throw it away once in a while.

- "Welcome to Teal Town" is not very intimidating.

- Although Crazy Train is a great song, the Jaguars played it on three separate occasions (not including the fourth time when they played the Lil’ John version). I’m sure there are other songs out there that could be used to excite the crowd.

- My guess is that 25% of the fans supported the Steelers.

- I probably received a dozen compliments on the Louis Lipps jersey.

- I wanted to take a picture of the final score, but as soon as the game ended the team removed the score from the scoreboard. Did the Jaguars think their fans would forget that the team lost?

Most importantly, the Steelers won 26-21 and are now 4-1 heading into the bye week.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Trivia Tuesday

I’m back from an amazing trip to Jacksonville, but after only getting 3 hours of sleep on Sunday night/Monday morning and coming back to a conference for work, I don’t have the time yet to write about the trip and the Steelers game. I’ll try to share my thoughts and adventures from the Steelers game tomorrow.

In the meantime, here’s another quiz created by the folks at Stump Trivia since I’m not creative enough to create my own questions. Your challenge is to name the FILM from the character and year it won a Golden Globe for Best Movie.

1. 2008 – Briory Tallis
2. 2007 – Richard Jones
3. 2006 – Ennis Del Mar
4. 2005 – Howard Hughes
5. 2004 – Samwise Gamgee
6. 2003 – Virginia Woolf
7. 2002 – John Nash
8. 2001 – Emperor Commodus
9. 2000 – Lester Burnham
10. 1999 – James Ryan

As always, please do not use the internet for the answers. Either you know it or you don’t. Please leave your answers in the comments below. Good luck!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Register To Vote Virginia

As a reminder, today is the last day for Virginians to register to vote for the November election. Please don’t mind all of the prepositions in the previous sentence.

For more information, visit the Virginia State Board of Elections website.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday Links

Here are some outstanding links to get you to the weekend:

If you’re on Facebook, join the Sean’s Ramblings blog network.

In honor of its 10th birthday, Google has brought back its oldest available index from January 2001. As a comparison, a search for Ben Roethlisberger using the old version gets 602 results; a search for Ben Roethlisberger today brings about 1,420,000 results!

I was again honored to be a part of One for the Other Thumb’s weekly Meeting People is Easy.

What was the #1 song on the day you were born or the day you graduated from high school? Check out this website to find out. (h/t Jane Doe)

Inspired by this week’s 100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs countdown on VH1 (which I have been watching), Hugging Harold Reynolds took this year’s eight baseball playoff teams in relation to songs on the countdown.

Think you know Pittsburgh. Take the Post-Gazette’s Pittsburgh 250 quiz.

Mystery Man (in writing his first post in 3+ months) thinks that the Pirates should hire Phil Elson, a graduate of Allderdice High School and Point Park College, to replace the retired Lanny Frattare

I received an email from Jocelyn of Rotohog who feels that besides being a Steelers, Eagles and Seahawks fan, Sarah Palin may also be a Redskins fan based on this video:

I’m heading to Jacksonville this afternoon to attend the Steelers-Jaguars game on Sunday night. If you’re at the game, I’ll be the guy wearing a Louis Lipps jersey.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

What NFL Team Does Sarah Palin Support

I have a problem with Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and it has nothing to do with her political views.* Perhaps you saw the three second clip of Palin jogging in a Donovan McNabb Philadelphia Eagles jersey. (If not, the video is below at the 3:11 mark and a picture is on the right.) First of all, besides actual football players, who actually jogs wearing a football jersey? Wouldn’t a T-shirt or Under Armor shirt be more comfortable?

Let’s assume that because Pain is wearing a McNabb jersey in the video, she has some type of affinity for the Eagles. Does she only support the Eagles? Well, when I wrote last month that Joe Biden is a Steelers fan, Captain Easychord shared a July 2007 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article which showed that Palin is also a Steelers fan. So is she a Steelers fan, an Eagles fan, or both? This is where things get even more complex. Sarah Palin is also a member of the official Seattle Seahawks official fan club, the Seahawkers.** Super Bowl XL must have been tough for her since two of her favorite teams were playing against each other.

So my question is this: what football team does Sarah Palin support? Get Charlie Gibson or Katie Couric on this immediately. I think this should be part of Thursday’s Vice Presidential debate. Palin must come clean on her favorite NFL team. Having two or three favorite teams is unacceptable and certainly not something I or most if not all Americans want to see in a potential President or Vice President.

The picture and video are courtesy of CBS via The 700 Level.

* Well, actually I do have a problem with some of her political views, but that is not the point of this post. By the way, I like having footnotes at the bottom of my posts. I can see why lacochran does this so often!

** What a terrible name!

Update: After I wrote all of this, I found that Modern Jackass Magasin wrote something similar about Palin’s fandom. This just confirms the need for Governor Palin to show her true colors (black and gold; blue/navy, green and white; green and white; or possibly even something else)!