Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Peeps and More Peeps

The Washington Post announced the winners of their Peeps Show IV contest. This is the ultimate winner based on the movie Up:

I encourage you to check out all the amazing dioramas of the finalists at the Post's website.

Staying on the Peeps theme, the Wegmans Dulles has an event this Saturday where "kids and parents will have a great time making cheesy carrots and decorating cupcakes with Peeps."

If only Peeps were Kosher for Passover...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Trivia Tuesday

Since the Academy Awards occurred recently, the folks at Stump Trivia created a trivia round for the people who didn’t win an Oscar this year. Listed below are ten Best Actress/Actor/Director nominees. Your challenge is to name the movie for which they were nominated. Please note that there are no repeats.

1. Helen Mirren
2. Carey Mulligan
3. Gabourey Sidibe
4. Meryl Streep
5. Quentin Tarantino
6. James Cameron
7. George Clooney
8. Colin Firth
9. Morgan Freeman
10. Jeremy Renner

Personally, I think this is one of the easier Trivia Tuesdays, but maybe you have already blocked out this year’s Academy Awards nominees and movies. As always, please do not use the internet to search for your results and leave your answers in the comments section below. Good luck!

Finally, I plan on posting predictions for the 2010 from Pirates bloggers either this week or next week. If you would like to share your own thoughts (I have 5-6 questions), please e-mail me at seasramblings at yahoo[dot]com. You are welcome to be as serious or not as serious as you’d like.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Random Ramblings, Thoughts and Links

Brad Stevens, the head basketball coach at Butler University, led his team to the 2010 Final Four on Saturday. Stevens, born in October 1976, is approximately 18 months younger than me. Let’s hope that Stevens is over-achieving because he’s making me feel unproductive.

For my mile challenge, I ran a mile in 8:03 over the weekend. Still more than a minute over my record time from 15+ years ago, but better than my 8:30 last week.

During the first minute of an under-13 girls soccer game I worked Sunday, the coach yelled instructions to one of his players. She responded by screaming, "Don’t tell me what to do!" Yikes. About 10 minutes later, the coach attempted to replace this player with a substitute. She refused to come out, and the coach backed down. About two minutes later, he did send a sub on the field for the girl. She ran off the field in tears and instead of going to her team bench went to a grassy area near a goal where she stayed for the rest of the half with her father.

I’m flying to Anaheim soon on United. Based on the multiple commercials I have seen over the past few weeks, can I send my bags for free on Southwest?

On to the links:

Seth broke down the Penguins record against the top third, middle third, and lower third of the NHL. Interesting stuff. [Empty Netters]

I have no recollection of Pens coach Scotty Bowman switching goalies Ken Wregget and Wendell Young ON THE FLY! [PSAMP]

A profile of Garrett Jones [New York Times via the PBC Blog]

Pat toured Pirate City. [WHYGAVS]

Have a good day, and remember, let my people go!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I read each edition of the quarterly IC View, the magazine of the Ithaca College community, from cover to cover including the obituary section. It’s not that I’m morbid; I just like to know how people lived their life. Many obituaries include details of people who served in the United States military and worked as teachers, coaches, and musicians (IC was founded as a music conservatory) and in such roles impacted hundreds and thousands of lives. There were three obituaries that really stood out to me and I felt like sharing these stories.

Lawrence Goldberg ‘49: A fan of the former New York Giants baseball team, he was responsible for the only known recording of the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” walk-off home run hit by Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson, during the Giants’ playoff game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951. The tape captured Russ Hodges’ famous “The Giants Win The Pennant! The Giants Win The Pennant!” call. Goldberg also served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and worked in the travel industry.

Arguably the greatest baseball call ever and Goldberg kept it alive!

Burton Stanley ’35, M.S. ’52: After a long career as a music teacher and faculty member, he published a widely used book, Instrument Repair for the Music Teacher (1978) which remains in print today.

I wonder how many music teachers have utilized this book.

James Benedek ‘68: He was a soccer midfielder for IC and first-team All-American in 1965. He played on the 1968 United States Olympic soccer team and went on to a professional career that included stints with the Houston Stars, Kansas City Spurs and Dallas Tornado. He started and coached the men’s soccer program at Southern Methodist University and served as a consultant to the U.S. men’s national soccer team, most recently helping launch a Major League Soccer team in Philadelphia.

As a Division 3 school, IC is not really known for our athletes. The fact that an IC graduate played professional soccer and on the Olympic team is very cool.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

TMI Thursday: Blister in the Sun

You may not know this, but I am a soccer referee. I started when I was 15 and earned a lot of money working as a ref through high school and part of college. Well, it was a lot of money to a high school and college kid. After taking about six years off, I returned to the soccer field when I moved to Northern Virginia. The extra money is nice but I primarily ref now because I enjoy helping kids learn the game (the adult games aren’t as much fun) and it’s a great way to get into/stay in shape. Essentially, I’m getting paid to work out instead of paying for a gym membership. There are some drawbacks to working as a referee though. Parents, players and coaches yelling at you is at the top of the list, but forgetting sunscreen on a sunny day is right up there. This happened to me during one of my first days returning as a referee several years ago.

I knew I was in trouble as soon as I got home from spending nearly five hours outside. My face was extremely red. The real problem, however, occurred several days later when I started peeling. Oh, did I mention that the peeling occurred only about two months into my new job? Did I also mention that the peeling occurred while I attended a conference for my new organization where I was meeting nearly 100 people for the first time? There wasn’t enough aloe in the world to help me. My entire face, particularly my nose, and even my ears and the top of my head were peeling. Flakes of dry skin fell when I rubbed my forehead. I guess that you could say that my face made a nice icebreaker in meeting people. I must have explained at least a dozen times that I didn’t use sunscreen while working as a soccer referee. As uncomfortable it was for me to tell people this, it was even more uncomfortable for people to look at me and carry a coherent conversation with me.

Fortunately, the peeling process pretty much ended by the start of conference’s second day. It was amazing how many people looked at me in amazement at how much better I looked. Overall, not a good first impression, but things worked out okay. The lesson here (to the class of ’99): wear sunscreen!

For more TMI Thursdays, please visit LiLu and you can click here to see all of my TMI Thursday archives.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Trivia Tuesday: Band Name Edition

Welcome to a "real" edition of Trivia Tuesday! Based on the description and the year (I’m not sure if the year represents when the band was formed or made it big) below, your challenge this week is to name the band that takes its name from a place.

1. 1967, Midwestern city

2. 1976, Northeastern capital city

3. 1969, State off the Gulf of Mexico

4. 1970, Think Dorothy

5. 1987, Perfect state of mind free from suffering

6. 1991, Relief in a desert

7. 1970, Patriotic Horse with no name band

8. 1979, Continent on the other side of the pond

9. 1981, Continent, song in 40 Year-Old Virgin soundtrack

10. 1999, Rises from the ashes

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 Stump Trivia.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Why I Am Not A Scientist

JustSayHi - Science Quiz

Created by OnePlusYou

I have a graduate degree, and I attend trivia night as often as I can. Generally, I think that I'm fairly smart. However, a D+ grade on an eighth grade science quiz is not my crowning moment. I know that there are smart people who read this blog. Please take the quiz yourself and see if you can do better than me.

Please note that this does not count as Trivia Tuesday which will appear tomorrow.

h/t Ngewo's World

Finally, don't forget that the "My Tale of Two Cities" screening at the U.S. Capitol Hill Visitor's Center is tomorrow (Tuesday, March 23rd) evening. Tickets are free, but RSVPs are required to reserve seats which are limited. Please email Jamie Silverman at with contact information to receive a ticket. There is more information about the event in my previous post and you can find out more about the film and other upcoming screenings in Pittsburgh, Boston and Del Ray, Florida at the My Tale of Two Cities website.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Big Day

On the slim chance that anyone is reading my blog on Saturday, there are two big events that I need to share. First, today (Saturday, March 20th) marks the first day of spring meaning free Italian Ice at Rita's throughout the country. Visit Rita's website for more information.

Today also marks Won't You Be My Neighbor Day to celebrate Mr. Rogers' Birthday. Make sure to wear a sweater (which you may need after eating a cold Italian Ice).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mile Challenge

There’s some sort of marathon taking place in DC tomorrow that is not the Marine Corps Marathon. While I don’t understand why anyone would wake up extremely early in the morning to run 26.2 miles, I certainly admire their determination and fitness level. Meanwhile, I’m just trying to run one mile.

Back in high school, I consistently ran a mile in just over seven minutes with a fastest time of 6:49. While this was not close to Roger Bannister’s sub four-minute mile, I thought it was pretty good. Recently, I decided that I want to see if I can get back to running a seven-minute mile. Actually, I just wanted to know how quickly I could run a mile. Although I feel like I’m in decent shape due to soccer refereeing, this is a different type of running. While working as a ref, I sprint, stop, walk, sprint, jog, etc. There’s no continuous rhythm or pace as there is for a longer run.

So two weeks ago, I hopped on my treadmill and ran one mile. The time: 8 minutes and 38 seconds. Not bad, but not really good. When I ran in high school, I ran at my own speed on a track. In this case, I attempted to adjust the treadmill to keep up with my increasing or decreasing speed. This was definitely not the most efficient way to time myself. Last week, I tried again, but did worse. My time was 9 minutes and 15 seconds largely because I started the mile too quickly and needed to slow down to walk for part of the time. Again, the treadmill isn’t my friend for this challenge. I need to find a track and just run.

So if you don’t mind, I plan on sharing my times over the next few months (or until I get bored with this).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Random Ramblings

Memo to people wearing a purse or backpack over your shoulder or back on the Metro: If said purse or backpack continues to bump into people, take the bag off of your back/shoulder and either put it on the floor or hold it by your side!

When seeing the message “Toner Low” on a printer, am I the only person who reads this as Tone Loc?

For proponents of a 96-team NCAA tournament bracket, here is what it could look like. 13 Big East teams would be insane.

We received the census form yesterday and designated Ziggy as the individual in our household to complete it. He doesn't seem interested.

The song currently stuck in my head - Give me back that Filet O Fish. Give me that fish.

Finally, I'm a huge fan of the Reduced Shakespeare Company and the show Lost. Watching RSC condense the first five seasons of Lost into 10 minutes is amazing!

(The video doesn't seem to work here so click on the link above to check out RSC's Lost in 10 minutes.)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Trivia Tuesday: Bunny Balance

I promise to have a real trivia questions next week, but I think that this will be fun. First, can you name the colleges that have had #1 seeds in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship over the past 32 years?

Your next challenge is to name the famous Charlies/Charles (Charleses?).

Finally, for something completely different, can you balance the bunnies? Use your mouse to drag bunnies to the see-saw. This sentence is not code for something else! (It's actually a kids game; I recommend keeping the sound on for positive reinforcment.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Tale of Two Cities Returns To DC

My Tale of Two Cities has been invited to screen on Capitol Hill at the first of its kind event at the U.S. Capitol Hill Visitor's Center on March 23rd. Following the film, Newsweek's and MSNBC's Howard Fineman will lead a prestigious panel of community and business leaders including Pittsburgh Congressman Mike Doyle; Washington D.C. Economic Development Partnership's Executive Director, Steve Moore; Franco Harris, Businessman, Philanthropist, and Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steeler; and the film's writer/director, Carl Kurlander, who will discuss the revitalization of cities and challenges faced by communities across the nation. (Besides all of these dignitaries, you can also meet me!)

Joining Congressman Doyle as honorary chairs of this special event are Pennsylvania Senators Arlen Specter and Robert Casey, Jr., as well as Congressman Jason Altmire (D-PA), Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH), and Congressman Steve LaTourette (R-OH).

Reception begins at 6, with the screening at 7 p.m. Tickets are free, but RSVPs are required to reserve seats which are limited. Please email Jamie Silverman at with contact information to receive a ticket.

In addition, you can find out more about the film at the My Tale of Two Cities website.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dear UC Santa Barbara, North Texas University, Morgan State University & Robert Morris University

Congratulations on earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament! Each of you have had great seasons and deserve your spot in the field of 65. You may be wondering, well thanks random guy, but who are you? Well, my name is Sean, and I am a college basketball fan as well as an (arguably) amazing blogger. Twice in my life, I have had the opportunity to attend the men’s NCAA tournament. In 1997, I watched the #15 seed Coppin State University defeat the second-seeded University of South Carolina at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. In 2008, I was present for the amazing game between #2 Duke University and #15 Belmont University at the Verizon Center in Washington. As a #15 seed, you may remember (or perhaps you're learning about now) the Duke-Belmont game and how Belmont could have, and arguably should have, pulled off an amazing upset. Was it a coincidence that at the two NCAA Tournament games I attended, the #15 seed won and should have won on both occasions? I say no.

Therefore, I welcome you to invite me to your first round match. I believe that my track record as stated above proves that I can be of great assistance in watching your game live. All that I ask for is a flight from the Washington DC area to wherever your game takes place, two tickets for the games (please note that games are in plural for both of your first and second round matches), a hotel room near the arena, and a gracious per diem for food. In exchange, you’ll get a great good luck charm in me. Just think of all the exposure #15 seeds receive when they win an NCAA Tournament game. You’ll be on the front page of the ESPN and Yahoo Sports websites, be the lead on Sportscenter and be the talk around the water cooler for days and weeks to come. I think the benefit your team and school will receive will certainly outweigh the cost of paying for my trip.

In full disclosure, I wrote a similar letter to Robert Morris University, Binghamton University, Morgan State University and California State University Northridge for the 2009 NCAA Tournament. None of these fine institutions took me up on my offer. Do you know how these teams fared? They lost by an average of 19.5 points. You don’t want that to happen to you, so just contact me. Robert Morris & Morgan State, I hope that you'll learn from this experience.

Just so you know, I give priority to attending the Robert Morris-Villanova game since RMU is a Pittsburgh area school and I have been on the campus and in the Sewell Center in the past. However, I will certainly consider offers from all for of you.

Good luck in the NCAA Tournament, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Bestonium's The Mike Lange Syndrome

This may be my favorite video created by Benstonium. Enjoy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Beano Cook Takes Shot at Roethlisberger

Yes, I'm posting a video two days in a row. In this ESPN video, Pittsburgh's own Beano Cook calls Sidney Crosby a class act. I don't think anyone in their right mind would disagree. (Please note that most Capitals fans are not in their right mind.) Anyway, near the end of the video, Beano subtly (or not so subtly) calls out the Steelers' QB.

"I'm just grateful Pittsburgh has Sidney Crosby right now. We need somebody, an athlete, with class. And that Crosby has. Lots of class. On the ice and off the ice."

Am I misinterpreting Beano's statement?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Mazel Tov Song

Look out Black Eyed Peas! Trying to best BEP's use of Mazel Tov in the lyrics, something called ZE:A created a song titled Mazel Tov.

I honestly have no idea what to write. It's a Korean boy-band that, judging by the end of the video, consists of approximately 700 members. Did Menudo have this many people in the group?

h/t SB Sarah

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Eric Massa: AbilityOne Champion

I’ve probably shared that I read the Express cover to cover on the Metro each day. The paper is a great way to get a summary of the news and avoid eye contact with my fellow commuters. On Tuesday, I noticed the following advertisement for NIB, National Industries for the Blind.

Prior to yesterday, I had never heard of the organization. However, putting a full-page ad in the Express with a list of “Congressional AbilityOne Champions” got my attention and probably earned notice from other folks in the DC community. That happens when the names Arlen Specter, Orrin Hatch, Harry Reid and Barney Frank are included in your ad. However, one name certainly stood out among the 100 or so Members of Congress. I’ll give you a minute to see if you see it too. It’s okay; I’ll wait.

If you chose the last name under New 2010 AbilityOne Champions, Rep. Eric Massa, you win! (I guess the title of this post may have helped too.) I have a feeling that NIB may not include now former Rep. Massa in future ads. Companies don't generally like being associated with former members of Congress who allegedly groped staffers and engaged in "tickle fights" and "inappropriate language" (not allegedly on these last two).

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

2010 Celebrate Fairfax Headliners Announced

Celebrate Fairfax announced the headliners to its 29th annual festival, which will take place June 11-13 at the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax, Virginia.

Friday, June 11 at 8:00pm – RUSTED ROOT
Saturday, June 12 at 3:00pm – CAROLINA LIAR
Saturday, June 12 at 8:00pm – KC & THE SUNSHINE BAND
Sunday, June 13 at 4:30pm – JOSH THOMPSON and JIMMY WAYNE

Not that you need my opinion on these performers, but I’m sharing my thoughts anyway.

Rusted Root – This is my wheelhouse. Rusted Root was the biggest band in Pittsburgh when I grew up in said city. I have their tapes (yes, tapes) and saw them in concert several times. However, I haven’t seen them perform in almost 15 years. Call it nostalgia, but I can’t wait to see them live.

Carolina Liar – “Show Me What I’m Looking For” is a great song. I honestly can’t tell you any other of their songs, but I’m a big fan of this one.

KC & The Sunshine Band – This is the most intriguing band of the group. If KC & The Sunshine Band played at Wolf Trap or somewhere else in the Washington DC area, I wouldn’t blink an eye (meaning that I wouldn’t go). However, for $12 or less (depending on when you purchase tickets) at Celebrate Fairfax, I’m excited to see them. Seriously, I don’t think I would ever seek out a KC concert but if they’re in my back yard for a cheap price as part of an event with other bands and activities, I’m there!

Josh Thompson and Jimmy Wayne – I have no idea who these people are. Is Josh Thompson the son of former Pittsburgh Pirates’ first baseman Jason Thompson? Does Jimmy Wayne have a brother that plays for the Indianapolis Colts? Anyone?

So there you have the 2010 Celebrate Fairfax headliners. For more about the festival, please check out the Celebrate Fairfax website. I’m sure that I’ll have more about the festival as it gets closer.

Trivia Tuesday

I'm not sure if this even counts as trivia, but after last week's literary character edition, I figured we should try something lighter.

1. Do you plan on seeing Hot Tub Time Machine?

2. Besides Cher and now Mo'nique, are there any other Academy Award winners (or even nominees) that go by one name?

3. Other than Sage Rosenfels and Jay Fiedler, name a Jewish NFL QB.

4. With the Steelers signing of Arnaz Battle and Antwaan Randle El, do you think that Limas Sweed will make it to training camp?

5. The movie Green Zone starring Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear will be released on Friday. Am I the only person hoping there is at least one scene where these stars will be stuck together?

6. Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood and now Jennifer Lopez have all guest starred on How I Met Your Mother. Who would you like to see as the next guest star?

7. Choose your own adventure. Do you have a question that you want me or anyone else to answer?

As a change to the usual Trivia Tuesday, please feel free to use the internet for help. As always, please leave your answers in the comments section below.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Random Ramblings

There are times that I have random thoughts that probably don't deserve their own post. This is one of those times where I put them together to share with you.

* NHL Center Ice offered a free preview this week. As a result, I had a wonderful opportunity to watch hockey games from local broadcasts throughout the continent. So here’s my question: why is McDonalds offering free coffee from March 1-14 in Canada but not in the United States?

* Speaking of NHL Center Ice, I may throw the TV out the window if I see the, “We may live in New York now, but our seats our definitely Center Ice” commercial one more time.

* I recently joined my neighborhood e-mail listserv which has made me laugh. Here are some sample messages from this weekend:

- Maybe you are afraid of dogs and that’s why they are attacking you. Don't be afraid. Dogs are better than most people. They don't complaint about stupid things.
- I just drove by the course and saw a dad on a walk with his two young daughters. Should I call the police?
- I haven't been following all of this that closely, but I think it depends on whether or not they are on a leash??

* Raise your hand if 20 years ago, you thought this guy would be a two-time Academy Award nominee?

* The number of e-mails I’ve received from TMZ prior to Friday: 0. The number of e-mails I’ve received from TMZ the past 3+ days thanks to Ben Roethlisberger: 6.

* Mainstream movie that sounds like it could be porno: How To Train Your Dragon.

* A few weeks ago, someone put $5 on my car windshield. I immediately wondered if someone hit the car and either left $5 as a note or to pay for damages (which wouldn’t have gone very far). However, it looks like someone just left $5 to give us $5. Strange.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Pittsburgh Athlete Twitter Updates

I joined Twitter a few months ago for the benefit of my blog. Specifically, I figured that I would share the thoughts of Pittsburgh athletes and coaches. This is my first post about such updates, so let’s see what famous Pittsburghers have to say:

Safety Ryan Clark was released by the Steelers on Thursday, and I really hoped the team would resign him. However, I'm sure that you'd much rather hear how this could impact the team from LB Lawrence Timmons than me. Let's see what he thinks about the team's decision.

Also check out new blog at my website
12:21 PM Dec 3rd, 2009 via web

Staying with the Steelers, there has been significant discussion recently about whether Willie Parker would become a free agent. (Sean's note: This was written on Thursday evening so Parker may very well be a free agent by the time this is posted.) What does his fellow RB Frank Summers think?

Vikings are coming to town. It should be fun to watch Brett hes a pretty good role model. Once againjust cheering....
6:29 PM Oct 21st, 2009

Pitt has had a remarkable season with a top 20 ranking despite losing four starters from last year's Elite Eight team. What does Coach Jamie Dixon think about the team's wins over Top 5 teams Syracuse, Villanova and WVU and last night's exciting game against Providence?

We are also holding the first Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair.
9:57 AM Oct 2nd, 2009 via web

Finally, did you ever wonder what Bubby Brister does on a day-to-day basis?

Denver camps were a lot of fun. Thanks to all those who came out both days. See you in 2010.
8:27 AM Jul 30th, 2009 via web

Perhaps, I should stop following these guys!

If you want to follow Pittsburgh athletes that actually update their Twitter accounts, I recommend visiting Mondesi's House for his Guide to Pittsburgh Sports Twitter. Plus, you can always follow me on Twitter though I'm hardly a Pittsburgh celebrity or athlete (or am I?).

Finally, if you haven't done so already, please enter the Ramblings Giveaway by clicking here or scrolling down to the next post.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Ramblings Giveaway

As a special thank you to everyone who visited Sean’s Ramblings during the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament and my regular readers who have waited patiently for me to write something besides posts about the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament, I am going to reward you. Well, at least one of you. OK, one of you. All Children’s has some really nice kids bedding. I especially like the Pittsburgh Steelers bedding series.

Sadly, I’m not giving away bedding as I don’t think I have many seven year-old readers. (Plus, I really want the bedding for myself, but I’m guessing that it is not socially appropriate to have this type of bedding as an adult.) Instead, in honor of the success of the Pittsburgh Pirates blogs in the tournament, you can win either this Pittsburgh Pirates table lamp

or this comfortable bean bag chair.

To win your choice of the lamp or chair, simply leave a comment below. I’ll even give you a topic. The opening and closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics featured some of the most famous and accomplished Canadians. Who do you want or expect to see during the London 2012 Olympics? What British musicians will play the role of Neil Young, Nelly Furtado, Bryan Adams and Nickelback?

Please enter your comment by Friday, March 5th at 10:00 PM Eastern time. I'll choose the winner via Please make sure there is a way for me to contact you in case you win.

Thanks to the generous folks at All Children’s for offering this terrific giveaway!

Update 3/6/10 at 12:35pm:

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 16
Powered by RANDOM.ORG

So the winner is Jason. I believe that I know Jason's contact information, so I will contact you in the next few days. If I have the incorrect Jason, can the real Jason please contact me.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Trivia Tuesday: Literary Characters Edition

In last week's Trivia Tuesday, Mystery Man stated that the questions were too easy. I don't think he'll say the same thing this week. Your challenge for this week is to name the well-known (or not so well-known) literary characters.

1. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy classic, “The Lord of the Rings,” who is the keeper of the ring?

2. Wade Hampton, Ella, and Bonnie are the names of whose children from a 1934 book, which later became a hit movie?

3. In Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” with whom does Elizabeth fall in love?

4. Paul Atreides is the name of the hero in what Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel?

5. Frederic Henry is the name of Ernest Hemingway’s central male character in what novel?

6. Jo, Beth, Any, and who are the four sisters in Louisa Mary Alcott’s “Little Women?”

7. Who is the ‘gypsy brat’ in “Wuthering Heights” with whom Catherine falls in love?

8. What is the name that Mark Twain’s central character in “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” gives his princess?

9. Winston Smith and Julia are the names of the central characters in what 1959 ‘Big Brother’ novel?

10. Becky Sharp is the main character in what William Makepeace-Thackery novel?

Amazingly, our team scored an 8 out of 10, though I probably only knew 3 or 4. As always, please leave your answers in the comments section below. At least for now, please do not use the internet for answers. Good luck!

This quiz is courtesy of Stump Trivia.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Congratulations Bucs Dugout

In an extremely close championship, Bucs Dugout defeated WHYGAVS 50.7% to 49.3% to win the 2nd annual Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament. Bucs Dugout joins last year’s winner, The Pensblog, in the pantheon of Pittsburgh sports blogs. Here is your tournament recap:

- The story of the tournament was the success of the Pittsburgh Pirates blogs. Besides Bucs Dugout and WHYGAVS, Raise the Jolly Roger and Pittsburgh Lumber Co. both reached the Elite Eight.

- Apparently, I’m not very good at seeding. Bucs Trade Winds, Igloo Dreams, and Pittsburgh Lumber Co. all won as #7 or #8 seeds. was especially impressive reaching the Final Four.

- People use Twitter. I don’t think that anyone mentioned or used Twitter in last year’s tournament. Nearly all the blogs in this tournament used Twitter and those with the most followers seemed to advance the furthest.

- There were votes from six continents. Antarctica needs to step up next year!

- I want to thank Cory of Three Rivers Burgh Blog for creating a list of tournament odds. That was fun addition to this year's edition.

- I also owe a great deal of gratitude to Cotter of One For the Other Thumb. I have no computer literacy whatsoever, and Cotter was a huge help in creating the terrific tournament logo and for making my awful Word brackets into passing JPEGs.

Finally, thanks to everyone for voting and supporting these terrific blogs. I wrote this at the start of the tournament, and I believe this to be 100% true. There is a special Pittsburgh sports blog community that is unmatched by any other city in the country. Please make sure to visit all of the Pittsburgh linked on the right side of this site.

If you write a Pittsburgh sports blog that is not included on my links section, please e-mail me at seanramblings at yahoo [dot] com.

Oh one last thing. Make sure to stop back later this week for a special giveaway.