Friday, July 31, 2009

Trivia Friday: For Football Fans

Trivia is generally reserved for Tuesday, but I saw this yesterday and figured I would pose the question here. Can you name the back-up quarterback of the Chicago Bears?

When it comes to football, I follow almost anything and everything involving the Pittsburgh Steelers, although I consider myself a football fan in general. I also know the depth charts of most NFL teams, at least at the QB, RB & WR positions, for fantasy football purposes. However, I have never heard of the quarterback listed as second on the Bears’ current depth chart.

Without searching the internet, can you name this QB? For Bears fans, do you even know this guy?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

TMI Thursday: Dance Dance

It was a sad day for many people when the Concordia Club was recently sold to the University of Pittsburgh. The Post-Gazette called it "the end of an era." For me, I write good riddance. When I was 12, my grandmother and great aunt thought that I needed a little refinement, perhaps some better manners and experience socializing with the other gender. The solution was for me to attend a dance class at, you guessed it, Concordia.

I realize that this probably doesn’t sound too bad, especially if the dances were any of those performed on Dancing With The Stars. However, this class was designed to prepare 12 year-olds how to dance and behave at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Apparently, the dances we needed to learn were the Box Step and the Bunny Hop. To make matters worse, almost the entire class consisted of private school kids that I had never met. Dancing with girls in junior high was awkward enough, but dancing with junior high girls that didn’t know you and didn’t want to dance with you was awful.

If I remember correctly, the class met once every three weeks for what seemed like two years. While I don’t believe that a tie was required, we definitely had to dress up. That alone was torture for a 12 year-old. I’ve tried to block out as much of this class as possible, so I don’t have any specific stories to share. I just remember that it was a terrible. To this day, I believe that my brother still owes me. Due to my miserable experience, he didn’t have to take this class three years later!

In case you’re wondering, I never danced the box step or bunny hop at a Bar Mitzvah or anywhere else publicly.

I also displayed the good manners I learned in this class by getting into a fight at a Bat Mitzvah, probably the only actual fight of my life that occurred off the soccer field. I may have to share that story another time. Actually, it's not that interesting so I probably won't.

Finally, Concordia made a brief cameo in my life approximately 15 years after the class. When trying to decide where my wife and I would get married, Concordia was suggested as an option. Let's just say that we didn't get married there.

Make sure to visit LiLu for more TMI Thursdays. Plus, you can click here to see all of my TMI Thursday archives.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Notes From The Def Leppard-Poison-Cheap Trick Concert

I saw the Def Leppard/Poison/Cheap Trick show out at Nissan Pavilion over two weeks ago, but I’m only getting around to writing about it now. Sorry. Since I’m already late and the tour may be over, I’ll go with a notes format. Enjoy.

- After attending the Neil Diamond concert last August and the Fleetwood Mac show in March, it’s nice to see "younger" performers live. At this pace, I’ll see a Jonas Brothers performance in 2013. (That’s a joke; you don’t have to leave just because I typed Jonas Brothers).

- Throughout the concert, all three bands yelled "Hello Bristow," "How You Feeling, Bristow" or some other variation of this. Nissan Pavillion is in fact located in Bristow, Virginia so they were accurate in their location. However, Bristow is an unincorporated town with a population under 16,000 according to Wikipedia. Wouldn't it have better to say "Hello Virginia" or "What's up DC?" I'd be surprised if there were 500 Bristow residents in attendance (and not working) at the concert.

- Before their performance, an audio montage of Cheap Trick pop culture references played. No video, just audio. Odd start, but I always like a good Simpsons quote or two.

- The crowd was louder when Welcome to the Jungle played over the sound system prior to Poison arriving on stage than at any point during or after Cheap Trick’s set. Maybe people were still outside tailgating during Cheap Trick.

- Through the back of the T-shirt of someone sitting near us, I learned that Iowa State University Intramurals include an NCAA Bowl Pick’em; NCAA Basketball Pick’em; 8-ball and 9-ball pool; and Curling. How exactly is NCAA bowl and basketball pick'em an intramural sport? It seems more like gambling.

- Unfortunately, there was no sign of Taya, Amber, Jess or any other Rock of Love girl in Bristow. Big John did come out on stage though for a brief cameo.

- Bret Michaels must have said C.C. in reference to guitarist C.C. DeVille at least twice per song. We get that there will be a guitar solo in every song, and we know C.C. will be the guy performing said solo. You don't need to tell us. Do you need to tell C.C.?

- The most random part of the show was a woman in front of us wearing feathers in her hair. It was random that Sacagawea attended the concert, but that wasn't the weird part. For Posion's Every Rose Has Its Thorn, she took a plastic parrot on a string from her purse and tried to attach the parrot to her shoulder. Apparently, the fake parrot wanted no part of this and continuously fell to the side no matter how hard the woman tried to attach him/her.

- In a shocking development, Def Leppard performed Pour Some Sugar On Me; Poison played Nothin But A Good Time; and Cheap Trick performed I Want You To Want Me.

- What I found interesting is that Cheap Trick referenced Poision and Def Leppard and Poison mentioned Cheap Trick and Def Leppard. Def Leppard never said anything about Poison and Cheap Trick.

My conclusion: Everyone Rocked! Good show, good time and each band played all of their big hits.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Trivia Tuesday: What's Your Favorite Movie?

Airplane or Office Space?
Good Will Hunting or Die Hard?
Batman or Spaceballs?
Meet the Parents or The 40 Year-Old Virgin?
Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Untouchables?
Casino or Traffic?

WahooJ (as I refer to him here) introduced me to Flickchart, a website that lets you "rank movies to create your own personal list of favorites." Flickchart shows you two movies and you pick your favorite among the two. From there, the website comes up with your top 20 movies. In case you're wondering, after spending over an hour on the website, here is my current Top 5:

5. Inside Man
4. Batman
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. The Untouchables
1. Field of Dreams

Yes, my current top 2 movies both star the underrated Kevin Costner.

I feel like I got somewhat screwed by having Pulp Fiction match-up against Usual Suspects in the first round. Both of these could wind up in the top five eventually.

Anyway, for today's Trivia Tuesday, feel free to answer the questions at the top of the page and/or share your own top five in comments section below.

Let me warn you that Flickchart is extremely addictive. You have been warned! Warned I tell you!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sad News

This is generally a happy blog focusing on not very serious topics and finding humor in just about everything. However, I've been thinking about a tragic event a lot over the past few days. A 14 year-old named Leah Blum was killed when a tree limb fell on to her in a freakish accident. This occurred at the camp where I spent five summers as a camper and counselor and where I have wonderful memories and made great friends. I don't know the girl who died or her family, but my condolences go out to her family and friends.

There's more about this tragedy on KDKA, the Post-Gazette, and Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Steelers Sign Ziggy

The Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to a 5-year contract with their first round draft pick out of the University of Missouri, Ziggy Hood.

Since monetary terms were unavailable, this Ziggy was not impressed:

More is available on the Steelers website and the Post-Gazette.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Brand New Referrals

I haven’t done this in a while, but here are real searches generally from Google or Yahoo that real people used to find and visit Sean’s Ramblings:

Jeff Reed inventing females at Slippery Rock University
You thought Jeff Reed was just a kicker for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s also a mad scientist during the off-season.

Michelle Trachtenberg Satan
You saw Ice Princess, didn’t you?

how many oscars did Aretha Franklin win?
Two. One for Blues Brothers and one for Blues Brothers 2000.

I'm concerned that my song has a secret girlfriend
Concerned? I’d be freaked out if my song had a secret (or any) girlfriend!

Did Ivanka Trump attend a Seder on Passover?
I do not divulge who attends my Seders.

Hank Williams Jr shirtless pics
This is disturbing.

I want to read book now
I’m not going to stop you.

How many times has Antonio Holmes been MVP of the game in the super bowls?
I’ll go with zero.

What do I do when the bathroom is occupied and I really have to go?
Who wants to answer this one?

Benny Distefano is he married
Who wants to answer this one?

can year old unopened box of matzoh be used
Sure. Matzoh can be an excellent fill-in for plywood.

(Yes, I included this search only to post this Ziggy picture again!)

Harrison interception return was not a touchdown his head touched the group and the ball did not brake the plain of the goal line
Apparently, you need to visit Sean's Ramblings for a full explanation.

joke about lady in bathroom stall on cell phone
Did she walk into a bar?

my name is luck i live on the second floor lyrics
I remember this song slightly differently


Have a great weekend!

Pirates Trade for Rafael Belliard

I've read a lot of analysis and thoughts from Pirates blogs discussing the Adam LaRoche trade with the Boston Red Sox. Bucs Dugout probably has the best information about Argenis Diaz, the shortstop prospect, the Pirates received.

Diaz is supposed to be an incredible defender, but even incredible defenders need to hit a little bit, and right now his line at Class AA Portland is .253/.309/.310. He's only 22, which is a reasonable age for the level, but I don't see much in his minor league profile that suggests he's ever going to hit. It might be tempting to think he's a future replacement for Jack Wilson, but it's worth remembering that even Jack Wilson hit well in the minors.

Since no one has mentioned this anywhere else, I'd like to be the first: the Pirates received the 2009 version of Rafael Belliard!

You may remember Belliard as a great glove, no-hit shortstop for the Pirates during the 1980s and Atlanta Braves in the 1990s. He played in the majors in part of 17 seasons but only had more than 300 at-bats in four of those seasons. Belliard's career stats: .221 batting average/.270 on base percentage/.259 slugging percentage. Belliard also had two career home runs. He mostly played as a defensive replacement.

Should we hope that Diaz becomes Rafael Belliard?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Washington DC Moment

When someone that doesn’t know me asks where I live, I generally reply the Washington DC area. While this is technically true as I live in Fairfax County and work in Arlington, I rarely visit Washington itself. Now that we’re in summer, I make it into DC a little bit more than the rest of the year due to my ultimate frisbee league. During last night’s game, I could look in the sky and see the Washington Monument. Although I’ve now lived in the DC area for eight years, I don’t get tired of this.

My true DC moment occurred after the game while walking to the car. As I cut through the underrated FDR Memorial just after 9:00pm, there were dozens of people looking at and taking pictures of the memorial. I heard multiple languages and accents being spoken and everyone seemed to be in a good mood. I continued to walk by the Tidal Basin and got a great view of both the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial. Just around the corner, and I walked along the Potomac River and could see the Air Force Monument (Memorial?) and part of the Pentagon in Virginia. The entire walk was peaceful and calming even with the blisters on my feet. I really should take this walk and visit some of the city’s and nation’s treasures more often as they really are amazing.

I seem to be getting a little sentimental about Washington in this post. Therefore, I’ll close with this: I still don’t like the Washington Redskins. OK, back to normal!

I completely lost track of days, so there is no TMI Thursday this week. It will return next week.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pittsburg: City of Champins

Ryan Buchan, an intern at The Tahoe Daily Tribune, wrote an article in Saturday’s paper about professional athletes and fantasy sports. I’ve taken portions of the article and included them below. Please let me know if you notice anything unusual.

More than 15 million people play fantasy sports and spend about $1.5 billion annually, according to an article that appeared in the “Texas Review of Sports Law.”

Fantasy sports have taken over the fan world, but have they taken over the world of current and former proffesional athletes?

“I think a lot of guys play fantasy sports,” said Dan Marino, a former NFL quarterback.

Marino, however, said he does not play fantasy sports even though he gives advice on selections and chooses a fantasy player of the day in part of his job with CBS Sports.

“It is not that I don't enjoy what is going on, I don't really make it a priorty,” Marino said. “But maybe I should.”

Jerome Bettis, former Pittsburg Steelers' running back, said he agrees that there are a lot of athletes who are involved, but he is not one of them.

“I never got into fantasy sports because as a player people got mad at you for things you did, and I never understood it,” Bettis said. “I have always been against fantasy sports.”

The first thing that jumps out is the reference to the Texas Review of Sports Law. Buchan is trying to be funny as there is no such thing. Silly intern!

Oh, perhaps you noticed a few misspelled words. I understand that spelling mistakes happen as I’ve probably misspelled something in this sentence. However, I don’t expect misspellings in an actual newspaper that “was founded on June 26, 1958 by Frank and Mary Chase” and “acquired by Reno-based Swift Newspapers, now Swift Communications, in August of 1975.” Maybe they are stilling using the 1958 version of Spell-Check.

Perhaps Buchan should do a little research before publishing his article. I don’t remember Jerome Bettis ever playing for the Pittsburg Steelers. Maybe I’m giving Buchan a hard time. I mean he is only an intern.

Someone must have reviewed the article before printing it, right? Perhaps, a sports editor? Well, “Steve Yingling has been the Tahoe Daily Tribune’s sports editor since September 1990. Only Nancy Hayden has been at the paper longer.” I am not familiar with The Tahoe Daily Tribune, but I have a feeling that the city of Pittsburgh may have been included at least once or twice in the paper over the 20 years. This would never happen if Jerry Micco was their sports editor (look at the fourth question)!

I know what you’re thinking. Why don’t I contact the Tahoe Daily Tribune directly to let them know about the spelling mistakes and errors? Well, I need to write about something!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trivia Tuesday

Welcome to a brand new edition of Trivia Tuesday! Your challenge this week is to name the actor/actress who played the role in the original movie and the remake.

1. Cape Fear (movie) – Max Cady (character)
Original in 1962
Remake in 1991

2. The Longest Yard – Paul Crewe
Original in 1974
Remake in 2005

3. Psycho – Norman Bates
Original in 1960
Remake in 1998

4. Mr. and Mrs. Smith - Ann Krausheimer Smith/Jane Smith
Original in 1941
Remake in 2005

5. Shaft – John Shaft
Original in 1971
Remake in 2000

6. Bad News Bears – Coach Morris Buttermaker
Original in 1976
Remake in 2005

7. The Producers – Leo Bloom
Original in 1968
Remake in 2005

8. Mr. Deeds – Longfellow Deeds
Original in 1936
Remake in 2002

9. Alfie – Alfie Elkins
Original in 1966
Remake in 2002

10. King Kong – Anne Darrow
Original in 1933
Remake in 2005

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

This quiz is courtesy of the fine folks at Stump Trivia.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Odds and Ends

I’ve wanted to share some additional Las Vegas stories* for some time now and figured I would throw in a few links as well. Well, now is that time.

* When I checked into my Vegas hotel, I casually handed the person at the reception desk $20 and asked if they had a complimentary upgrade. The individual said yes, moved us from the South Tower to a nicer room in the North Tower and handed us a coupon book with buy one, get one free tickets to Penn & Teller and Jubilee, two free admissions up the Eiffel Tower and more.

* I did my good deed of the month by giving the Eiffel Tower coupon to a grandmother who was taking her two grandchildren up the Vegas version of Paris monument.

* If anyone is heading to Vegas soon and would like come coupons, please let me know. Although the coupons indicate that they are non-transferable or available for resale, how would they know?

* I attended my first and last timeshare presentation. The theme: vacation or die. Basically, life is short so you should take advantage of time away with family and friends as often as possible. What better way to do this than spending $5000 a year on a timeshare? Does anyone have a timeshare and want to explain how this makes sense financially?

* The timeshare presentation and tour ended up taking three hours instead of the two that the promised. During the presentation, they also said that they would not hard-sell. Naturally, at the end of everything, they brought in the closer, Fat Tony (his name was Tony and he was larger than The Simpsons character of the same name). He did a hard-sale.

Here are a few links for your Monday:

Pictures of Long Island native and now former Pittsburgh Penguin Rob Scuderi with the Stanley Cup (PSAMP)

Behind the Steel Curtain, one of the best Steelers blogs out there, interviewed Ross Ohlendorf of the, um, Pittsburgh Pirates. I just hope that BTSC doesn't expand to interviewing fake Brian St. Pierres, write stories about California Tortilla or create a Trivia Tuesday. If they do, I'm through. (Behind the Steel Curtain)

Justin Hartwig hurt his toe. One For The Other Thumb has a lead suspect. (OFTOT)

If there is a story about Peeps, there's a good chance that I'll link to it. (DCist)

Finally, I still need to share my thoughts from the Def Leppard/Poison/Cheap Trick concert I attended last week. Look for that later this week.

* Yes, I know that I have been back from Las Vegas for about three weeks now. If you really want to read more, check out Part I and Part II of the trip.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pittsburgh Penguins and Ithaca College Bombers Schedules Released

Although the Wednesday after the baseball all-star game is the slowest day in the sports calendar, this year, it was one of my favorites. The reason: the 2009-2010 NHL schedule was released. I love seeing when the Penguins will travel to Washington to face the Capitals (Sunday, February 7 and Wednesday, March 24). Is this the year I finally join my friends in a trip to Tampa to see the Penguins (Saturday, January 2 and Sunday, March 14)? My close friend/hockey road trip companion and I scour the schedule to determine where and when this year’s trip will take place. We’re looking into a Phoenix-Denver adventure this year. He is also a New York Islanders fan, and for years, I have talked about visiting Nassau Coliseum to see the Penguins on Long Island (Saturday, October 3 – The Islanders home opener; Friday, November 27 – the day after Thanksgiving; and Sunday, April 11 – the final game of the regular season). Plus, I need to make it back to Pittsburgh to see a game at the Civic/Mellon Arena one last time.

The full Penguins schedule is available on the NHL website and the highlights are available courtesy of the Post-Gazette.

I also received an e-mail Wednesday announcing the 2009 Ithaca College Bombers football team’s schedule even though it appears to have been out for nearly a month. The highlight is obviously the annual Cortaca Jug game which will take place on November 14 at Butterfield Stadium. However, what really jumps out to me is that the Bombers will travel to Frostburg State on October 17. Although Frostburg is approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Washington, it’s also the closest any Ithaca College sports team has played to Washington in years (at least that I know of). Anyone want to go to Frostburg with me?

The Ithaca College Athletics website has the full 2009 football schedule.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

TMI Thursday: Youthful Indiscretion

Many people make mistakes when they are young. You just hope that your mistake doesn’t end up hurting yourself or someone else. You hope that your mistake doesn’t end up with you in jail. You also hope that the mistake is forgotten and doesn’t come back to haunt you. Finally, you hope that there is no visual evidence.

As a senior in high school, I did something that I regret. All I can say is that I was young, but that’s not really an excuse. I was 17 or 18, so I really should have known better. I had actually forgotten about this whole ordeal until I found a picture of me when I was back at my parents’ house in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but here is the reveal: I bought and wore a New York Jets hat. The horror!

My theory is that I wanted to have a hat that was different than anyone else at school. Maybe I had a soft spot for Al Toon, Browning Nagle, Freeman McNeil or a reserve tight end named Ken Whisenhunt. (I looked up the team's 1992 roster and found that the current Arizona Cardinals coach was on the team.) Maybe I bought the hat in homage to Joe Namath, a native of Beaver Falls, PA like my dad. Actually, I think that I just liked the hat.

I am a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan and a member of the DC Steeler Nation. I have no ties to the Jets other than the fact that they had Curtis Martin, a fellow Pittsburgher, in recent years. I don't have the hat anymore and will never wear any type of Jets paraphernalia again. I hope that you will forgive me and not think of me any differently.

As always, make sure to visit LiLu for more TMI Thursdays. Plus, you can click here to see all of my TMI Thursday archives.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Breaking Obvious News: Cats Control Humans

According to a study published in Current Biology* and posted on Yahoo, a study found that cats control humans and "exercise this control with a certain type of urgent-sounding, high-pitched meow," which is actually a purr mixed with a high-pitched cry. The researcher in the story "suggests that the purr-cry may subtly take advantage of humans' sensitivity to cries they associate with nurturing offspring."

There’s much more in the Yahoo article, but I don’t think you can accurately say that Ziggy controls us, right?

Yeah, we're just living in Ziggy's world.

* This will be the first and only time I reference Current Biology unless they feature an article about Troy Polamalu.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Best Musicians of the Decade

Let’s say that there was a new version of We Are The World, but this edition had to feature only artists that started, or at least made it big, in or after 2000. Based on my ground rules, you couldn’t include U2, Green Day, Britney, Christina, Jay-Z, Eminem, or even Justin Timberlake or Beyonce since their bands released their first album prior to 2000. I should also point out that my definition of making it big is when they first became known nationally. For example, the Goo Goo Dolls were around for about eight years before receiving mainstream success or attention. So who would make the cut? Here are my thoughts:

Kanye West
Miley Cyrus
Kelly Clarkson
John Mayer
Alicia Keys
Jonas Brothers
Norah Jones
Maroon 5
Fall Out Boy

I have to be missing someone, right? Is this the all-decade team? Are there even any Hall of Famers from this class?

Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below, especially if I am missing someone.

I’d love to see the thoughts of Sheena Beaston and the folks at Friday Morning Riffs on this as well.

Trivia Tuesday will return next week.

Monday, July 13, 2009

See The Steelers-Redskins Preseason Game For Free

I received an offer from the Washington Redskins to see the August 22, 2009 pre-season game against the Pittsburgh Steelers for free. All that I (or you) have to do is spend $260 to see Paul McCartney.

That's not quite free now is it? Here's the rest of the e-mail I received:

Don't miss your chance to catch the action at FedExField. August offers many exciting events and FedExField is proud to present an EXCLUSIVE OFFER for you.

Reserve one of the best Lower Level seats for Rock-and-Roll Legend Paul McCartney's concert on August 1st and get free parking and an invitation to a complimentary pre-party with an all-you-can-eat buffet for the special price of $260.* Plus you get a choice of one of the following events for FREE:** (Sean's note: Again, that's not really free.)

D.C. United vs. Real Madrid Soccer Match • Sunday, August 9, 2009
Redskins vs. Pittsburgh (Preseason Game) • Saturday, August 22, 2009
Redskins vs. New England (Preseason Game) • Friday, August 28, 2009

* Alcoholic beverages extra! (Boooooo. For $260, I want alcohol included!)

** Ticket locations are on the Club Level. Parking included. Offer is valid while supplies last. After ordering on-line, The Redskins Ticket Office will contact you within 5 business days to arrange for delivery of your Paul McCartney hospitality wristband and the ticket(s) to your complimentary event. If you want to call the Redskins (301.276.6050), please have your Ticketmaster confirmation number ready when you call.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Attention Reston Residents

I usually don’t write about politics, especially local politics, but I need to write about the election for the Reston Citizen Association's ("RCA") Board. There is a candidate for an at-large seat named Ken Meyercord, who describes himself as "a Holocaust revisionist." From The Washington Post:

"I believe millions of Jews were uprooted from their homes and died in droves," Meyercord said. But he dismisses as Allied propaganda the assertion that Nazi Germany embarked on a mission to annihilate European Jews, a plan known as the Final Solution. He also denies that Nazis used gas chambers to murder Jews, saying gas chambers did not exist, and expresses skepticism that the number of Holocaust victims reached 6 million.

From the Washington Jewish Week:

In addition, Meyercord calls into question the number of Jews killed at Auschwitz, and disputes the accuracy of a photograph depicting "smoke billowing up" from crematoria, claiming the smoke was "air brushed in."

I generally don’t really care about the RCA and Reston politics. I don’t understand why Reston residents have to pay a fairly significant amount of money for the "privilege" of living in Reston (in addition to the county and state taxes we pay). However, I don’t want Meyercord representing me and my fellow Reston residents.

Therefore, if you live in Reston, I encourage you to go to the Reston Festival TODAY (Sunday, July 12) and vote for Tammi Petrine and write-in Colin Mills, a former member of the RCA Board, for the at-large positions. The election takes place from 10-6 at the RCA booth at the Reston Festival.

Update 7/14: According to The Washington Post, Mills received 1,157 write-in votes. Meyercord, who had been running unopposed, received only 23 votes. Wow!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mazel Tov

We may be witnessing history! I believe that right now is the first time in American music history that the #1 song features both "Mazel Tov" and "L'Chaim" in the lyrics. If you're not familiar with the song, you might be wondering the identity of the artist. Do the Beastie Boys have a new song? Did Adam Sandler create a Hanukkah in July song? Well, the #1 song according to the Billboard Hot 100 is "I Gotta Feeling" by none other than a special collaboration between Jerry Seinfeld, Natalie Portman, Sacha Baron Cohen, and the late Sammy Davis Jr. Plus, the video is directed by Stephen Spielberg. No wonder the song is #1! Actually, the song is by the Black Eyed Peas.

(The guy in the middle is not part of the group.)

Anyway, if you want to verify that these Hebrew phrases are actually in the song, click here to see the video (YouTube won't let me embed it). The song is quite catchy and BEP definitely deserves credit for the use of Mazel Tov and L'Chaim in the song.

Picture by F Micelotta/American Idol 2009/Getty Images

Thursday, July 09, 2009

TMI Thursday: Not Quite Bobby Fischer

One of the reasons for my trip home to Pittsburgh last weekend was to clean up my childhood bedroom. My parents recently put their house on the market so I needed to sort through what I wanted to keep and throw away.

Sea shells stuck in Plaster of Paris (is that the correct name?) from an art project I did when I was 5 = throw away.

Baseball cards, football cards, hockey cards, and even some type of Alf trading cards = keep.

A slightly dented plastic globe (not a nice fancy globe) that features East Pakistan = garbage.

A scrapbook with award certificates and newspaper articles I was in = keep.

The scrapbook brought back some positive memories, one of which I will share now. I was on the high school chess team. I’ve definitely mentioned before that I attended the same high school that NFL players Steve Breaston, Ryan Mundy and Jason Taylor (sort of) attended. Let’s just say that I was not fighting off girls because of my chess team involvement. Anyway, team is probably a strong word as we basically played each other and then competed in one annual tournament against 7 or 8 other high schools. As a sophomore, my team, consisting of all sophomores, won the tournament defeating the junior/senior team among those from the rival high schools. We were even featured in the now defunct Pittsburgh Press newspaper. I found the article and winning certificate in the scrapbook.

This brings me to a negative memory found in the scrapbook. As a senior, I was bumped from the #1 team for a sophomore despite the fact that we won the previous two years. We went back-to-back and were going for a third straight title. How could they break up the Fab 4? (No we didn’t have that nickname. Or any nickname.) Facing the replacement guy in the tournament, despite making a dumb move to lose my queen, I salvaged a draw. I won my other three matches and finished with the top score of anyone in my seat. However, my record wasn’t enough to carry my teammates, and the #1 team ended up winning the tournament. That meant that my former teammates all won 3 straight years. I was bitter, and as you can probably tell, still am. Of course, I decided to keep the scoresheet from this last tournament in the scrapbook because of my high score.

There’s no real end to the story here. That was my last competitive chess match. Except for the occasional times I play against my brother (I always win), I haven’t played chess in many years. I guess the fact that I remember a chess tournament match from 16 years ago is worthy of a TMI post. Don't feel bad for me though; I now write a blog. And I bet that my blog is better than anyone else's from that chess tournament!

Make sure to visit LiLu for more TMI Thursdays. Plus, you can click here to see all of my TMI Thursday archives.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Henrik Zetterberg Updated His Website

The title of this post is true. After wondering in May if Detroit Red Wings' Henrik Zetterberg would ever update his website, he actually did. Here's what Hank has to say:

Thanks for this season!

We gave it our best shot and unfortunately we came up short this year. However, I am so pleased by the support you gave us and the fact that you all showed up and gave us energy. I hope that you will be there to support me and the team again next season.

See you in October and have a great summer.

Warm regards,
Henrik Zetterberg

Now the big question is whether or not he'll actually update his website before the end of the year.

Here are some other links to help you through the day:

- Kris Letang & Tyler Kennedy stopped by KDKA to do the weather report. It was nice that they put on their Sunday best for the newscast. (PSAMP)

- My friend Sarah of Smart Bitches was quoted and included in a USA Today article.

- I'm a little late in posting this but Cotter had an amazing Independence Day version of Meeting People Is Easy. (One For The Other Thumb)

- If you're a Pirates, Mets or Nationals fan, check out Dejan Kovacevic's interview with Lastings Milledge. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

- I wrote a post more than two years ago to share my appreciation about baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. The only reason I'm pointing that out is because ESPN wrote an amazing piece about Tony Gwynn Jr. joining the San Diego Padres. Must read article of the day!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Trivia Tuesday: Fathers Edition

OK boys and girls. Trivia Tuesday has been gone for a few weeks, so I hope that you haven't been sitting by the computer the past few Tuesdays hitting refresh every two minutes to see if it was here. This week's theme: fathers. (My assumption is that Stump Trivia created this quiz around Father's Day. Very timely for them; not so much for me). Your challenge is to name the "father" title from each description.

1. 1999 John McCain book

2. 1995 Barack Obama book

3. 2006 Clint Eastwood-directed film

4. 1986 Bill Cosby book

5. 1991 Steve Martin film

6. 1972 Francis Ford Coppola-directed film

7. 1997 Snoop Dogg album

8. 1988 George Michael single

9. 1998 Grammy-winning song by Eric Clapton

10. 1993 Daniel Day Lewis film

As always, please leave your answers in the comments section and do not use the internet to search for answers. In case you are wondering, we scored 9 out of 10 missing only #1. Good luck!

This quiz is courtesy of Stump Trivia.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Message to the USTA (Take 2)

Dear United States Tennis Association,

My name is Sean, and I am a tennis fan. My father played in college and taught me how to play when I was young. I was a member of my high school tennis team, and although I have not touched my tennis racket in nearly a year, I enjoy following and watching the Grand Slam events.

Naturally, I watched Sunday’s Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. With the match tied at 6-6 in the fifth set, I thought to myself, I would love to see a tiebreaker right now. As the match continued with Roddick and Federer tied at 8-8, 11-11, and 14-14, I thought, this is terrible and lacking drama; I would much rather have seen the match end 30-60 minutes ago via a tiebreaker.

I hope that you can sense my sarcasm in the last paragraph. If the Federer-Roddick match took place at the US Open, it would have ended with a fifth set tiebreaker. The US Open is the only Grand Slam tournament with this format. I mentioned my displeasure with the fifth set tiebreaker before, but maybe you weren’t reading my blog at that time. Based on Sunday’s exciting Wimbledon final, I think it’s time to reconsider how US Open matches conclude. Get rid of the fifth set tiebreaker (or third set on the women’s side) and follow the lead of your Grand Slam compatriots!


P.S. The semi-final match between Elena Dementieva and Serena Williams that ended with an 8-6 final set was also lousy!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Meet Kris Letang and Tyler Kennedy

On Tuesday, July 7th, the Official Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Champions DVD (I like the sound of this) will hit stores for $24.98. Coinciding with the DVD release, Penguin players Kris Letang and Tyler Kennedy will be signing copies of the DVD around Pittsburgh that day. Here is the info:

Kris Letang
Donaldsons Crossroads Giant Eagle
4007 Washington Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Signing will take place from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
**Please note that fans must purchase a copy of the DVD to receive an autograph

Tyler Kennedy
Dick’s Sporting Goods
The Mall at Robinson
5000 Robinson Centre Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
Signing will take place from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
**Please note that fans must purchase a copy of the DVD to receive an autograph

More importantly, how often do you have a chance to call Kris Letang, Kris Legame or Tyler Kennedy, Mr. Kennedy face-to-face?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Pirates Sign Three Taiwanese Players

I'm writing this post for all of my readers in Taiwan. In Thursday's PBC blog, Dejan Kovacevic reported that "the Pirates signed three players from Taiwan on the opening day of the international signing period: outfielder Ping-Hung Chi, right-handed pitcher Sheng-Chin Hung and first baseman Chih-Wei Hsu." There's even video of the signing of two players (I don't know which two, but my guess is the first two since they went to the same high school...possibly) courtesy of WHYGAVS:

The new Pirates look really, really young. I also found this picture of Hsu (on the right) at a Boston Red Sox facility.

You may have Jason Bay, Boston, but Pittsburgh has Hsu!

Photo from this album via Taiwan Baseball.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Debate: Loading the Dishwasher

Most of us are probably counting down the hours until the three-day weekend begins and don't want to deal with anything too thought-provoking. That's probably also the reason you visit this blog! A few months ago, I mentioned that I would bring up topics for debate on occasion. Well, today is one of those days, so put on your thinking cap (or perhaps a beret).

Topic: How do you load silverware into the dishwasher?

1. Load knives and forks facing upward.
2. Load knives and forks facing downward.

I left spoons out of this discussion (you'll see why momentarily), but I would consider sporks in this conversation.

There are clear pros and cons with both scenarios. Loading the silverware with the points upward probably cleans the silverware better. However, loading the silverware downward prevents you from stabbing yourself when you are emptying the dishwasher.

Thoughts? Comments? The debate starts now!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Vegas Vacation - Part II

Now that I wrote about my gambling experience in Vegas, I thought I would share notes from the rest of my vacation.

- I spotted Alexander Ovechkin lying out at the Bally's pool with an attractive female companion. At least, the guy looked like Ovechkin. Naturally, this prompted a discussion among our group. A female member of our group didn't think it was him because she thought Ovie would be in better shape and that his guest would have bigger breasts. My opinion was that it couldn't have been Ovechkin since he would probably rent a cabana or be at Mandalay Bay or the Bellagio as opposed to Bally's. Unfortunately, we did not see whether or not he is missing any teeth, so this remains a mystery.

- Pushing the automatic revolving door at the casino entrances does not make the door move faster.

- When I was in Utah a few years ago, I wrote about a newscaster named Big Budah. Is there a rule that every Mountain West city must have a newscaster with an odd name? As Messiah correctly predicted, I discovered KTNV's Rikki Cheese in Las Vegas. Yes, this is a real person, and I have proof. She was arrested earlier this year and here is her picture:

- At a restaurant I do not want to name (since she or someone who works there may read this*), we had Angel from Greensburg as our waitress. Her breasts are likely not from Greensburg.

- The Planet Hollywood sports book had both the Penguins and Red Wings at 5-1 to win the 2010 Stanley Cup. At the Caesar’s sports book, Detroit was 4-1 while the Penguins were 6-1. I also remember seeing the Steelers as 6-1 to win the Super Bowl. The Pirates were not 6-1 to win the World Series (although that was before the team acquired Milledge & Hanrahan!).

- The local ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates all show the national news at 5:30pm. That seems odd to me since they are either at 6:30 or 7:00 in Washington.

- I’m debating whether or not to share stories about the timeshare presentation. If I do, it deserves a separate post.

- We ate breakfast on Thursday morning at Harrah's buffet. They played a nice selection of 70s music followed by several Michael Jackson songs. During Billie Jean, a kitchen staff member danced near us, so naturally, we smiled and he started talking to us. We learned that loves Billie Jean since he recently discovered that a child that he supported for numerous years was not his son. He was happy about the fact that the kid was not his son and that now he is getting money back. He even showed us three paystubs in his hand. As everyone knows, Michael Jackson died several hours later.

- The highlight of my craps experience came courtesy of two guys at the table, Wayne and Jerry. Wayne was probably in his late 20s/early 30s, slightly intoxicated, and extremely social running around the table introducing himself to everyone. For some reason, he thought my name was Paul and continued to refer to me as Paul even though I corrected him several times. Wayne also revealed to everyone that he had a 2-inch penis, so I referred to him as Hal Gill (#2) for the rest of the evening. The casino staff was mortified. Meanwhile, Jerry was in his 50s or 60s, constantly smoked, had an impressive mustache and did not put up with Wayne’s shenanigans. He was there to drink, smoke and play craps. Naturally, Wayne wanted to become Jerry’s best friend. Oh, have I mentioned that Wayne thought Jerry’s name was Gary? At one point, Wayne had a big roll and went around the table to high-five everyone. Jerry/Gary ran away before Wayne could get to him. The entire Wayne/Jerry/Gary experience was highly entertaining. With Jon & Kate on the way out, Bravo should air Wayne & Jerry. It could be a ratings bonanza!

* It could happen!