Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Did My Generation Have Bad Music?

Take the music from the 1990-1996 time frame. This was during my high school and college years, probably the hey-day of my musical knowledge. This was the time when we spent our own money on tapes and CDs, and radio and MTV were still important and relevant.

Now take a look at the music we were essentially told to like via radio and MTV. This is the popular music as opposed to the more obscure songs and artists. The artists that still hold up 15-20 years later from that era include Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Dr. Dre/Snoop Dogg, Metallica and Guns ‘N Roses. You can probably also include Alanis Morissette and possibly Dave Matthews Band into the discussion. Sure, there were also artists like REM, Tom Petty, U2, Michael Jackson and Madonna that did well during this era, but I’m not including them in this discussion since they first made it big prior to this time.

Besides the aforementioned list, we seemed to have a lot of grunge sound-a-likes and Lilith Fair artists that were often difficult to differentiate. Throw in MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, the Wallflowers, Hootie and the Blowfish, and TLC, and in retrospect, it may not have been a good music era, particularly compared to other generations.

Don’t get me wrong. I like songs from many of these artist and The Humpty Dance and Back Got Back could be some of the greatest songs ever recorded.

However, how does this music stack up against that from other eras? Basically, would the music on a 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 00s station on average be better than music from the 90s? (Feel free to break this into 6-7 year intervals instead of entire decades.)

Messiah, anything else you want to add since you started this discussion at Monday night trivia (and wrote some of the text in this post)?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Trivia Tuesday

Very random edition of Trivia Tuesday this week. Good luck!

1. How do you pronounce pecan? P-can, P-khan, or another way?

2. According to Express, where is Kennywood Park located? (I’m not letting this go.)

3. How much am I now paying for my daily commute?

4. For folks in the DC area, have you eaten at Ray's Hell Burger? If so, how is it?

5. Name the two third basemen that have hit more home runs at this position than Chipper Jones.

6. Sharks have a week dedicated to him. Who is the "him" referenced in this statement?

7. What politician/politician's office is curiously following me on Twitter?

8. Is it possible to order mahi instead of mahi mahi?

9. Is next season the last of The Office since Steve Carell is leaving?

10. Name the Prime Minister of Canada.

As always please leave your answers in the comments section below. In addition, please do not use the internet for answers (except for #7). Good luck!

Monday, June 28, 2010

I Love Pittsburgh

I was back in Pittsburgh for the weekend, and there are two things about the city that I will never miss. First, the view from Mount Washington.

I really could look at the view of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington for hours. Incredible! How do folks who live on Mount Washington ever get anything done?

The second is driving around downtown and seeing Furries. Anthrocon 2010 recently concluded so if you were by the convention center, there is a good chance that you saw someone dressed like this.

I can't begin to describe Anthrocon 2010, so I'll leave that to That's Church, a slideshow via WPXI and the Anthrocon website.

The Pittsburgh photo courtesy of Launch Photography; the furry photo from WPXI.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Express Fail

I've shared how much I enjoy reading Express, a publication of The Washington Post, during my morning commute. However, I got upset after reading this article from Wednesday about Kennywood:

If you don't want to enlarge the article, the first line states, "Though Philadelphia is a city built on steel, some of the most sought-after attractions in it are actually made of wood." While this statement may be true, there is one major problem: the article highlights Kennywood Park located in PITTSBURGH (technically West Mifflin), 300 miles west of Philadelphia!

To be fair to Express, the article was written by Jennifer Yates of AP. However, longer versions of this article published on Yahoo, USA Today and ABC all correctly identify Pittsburgh. Therefore, I put the blame on Express.

I wrote Express on Wednesday notifying them of the error, but the paper did not issue a correction in the Thursday or Friday edition. Therefore, I feel like it is my responsibility to share Express' mistake with the world. In the future, if Express needs a Pittsburgh consultant, I am happy to help.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Steelers Try to Cover Their Weakness Areas for the Upcoming Season

This post is courtesy of Alex Lowe.

Probably the start of the season for the Pittsburgh Steelers will not be easy. And with Santonio Holmes off the team, and the suspension of Ben Roethlisberger, the NFL Odds for the Steelers do not seem favorable at all.

Undoubtedly the absence of “Big Ben” could create some hardships for the team, even more so when most of the first games of the Steelers are away. This could make it tough for the team to start with a good record.

The Steelers will be without Big Ben the first six games, and it seems that there is no other quarterback that can offer the team the same skills.

For his part, quarterback Dennis Dixon has just two years in the NFL and hasn’t demonstrated his ability as a professional player.

Another option is Byron Leftwich. However, I do not think he can be a quarterback that can move this team forward, but he is expected to be the starting quarterback in the games without "Big Ben."

Holmes's departure could also mean another major absence for the Steelers. However, they have other players capable of covering this position, such as wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Arnaz Battle.

However, Mike Wallace is their biggest hope and he is expected to become the number one receiver for Pittsburgh.

On the other hand, the tight end position is covered by Heath Miller, who is expected to have an effective season as he did last season in receptions and in receiving yards.

As for the draft, the Steelers have reinforced their offensive line with the first round draft pick of center Maurkice Pouncey, who I think is a great choice to correct their problems on offense.

Also, Emmanuel Sanders was another striking third round selection. Sanders is a player with great abilities, and he could give the Steelers a great weapon in the passing game.

Finally, if Troy Polamalu stays healthy, the Steelers will have a great defense. And this season, I think that Pittsburgh's defense will be able to note some victories.

Polamalu’s return will be one of the biggest advantages that the Steelers have for this upcoming season.

Their toughest games will probably be against the Baltimore Ravens, the Miami Dolphins, the New Orleans Saints and the New York Jets. However, there is still great hope that Mike Tomlin can raise the team to the level it had in 2008.

General McChrystal Learns Nothing From Pierogi-Gate

General Stanley McChrystal was removed by President Obama as the commander of the United States and NATO forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday. Technically, McChrystal resigned but only because he was about to get fired. McChrystal publicly criticized the civilian chain of command in an interview in Rolling Stone by essentially insulting President Obama, Vice President Biden and national security advisor Jim Jones. Insubordination, particularly in the military, is a fire-able offense. Doing so in a public forum of Rolling Stone makes things even worse. This would have never happened if McChrystal learned from the mistakes of Andrew Kurtz. Perhaps you don’t know the name Andrew Kurtz. However, if I mentioned that he was the pierogi fired by the Pittsburgh Pirates, does that sound familiar?

Kurtz posted a message on Facebook last week after the Pirates announced the contract extensions of manager John Russell and general manager Neal Huntington stating, “That means a 19-straight losing streak. Way to go Pirates." Tim at, Pat of WHYGAVS and Rich of This Is Getting Old all covered this well, so I’m not going to expand on their great posts, but you can’t publicly criticize your employer. Unfortunately for McChrystal, he did not heed this advice.

The Post-Gazette yesterday announced that Kurtz was rehired as a pierogi “because he was not teminated in accordance with company [human resources] procedures. While his conduct was in violation of [the Pirates’] company policy (and many other companies), it was not subject to termination at this time.” McChrystal is not going to be so fortunate to return to his position. However, maybe he can apply for a job as a pierogi!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Case of the Mondays

Something happened on Monday that had never happened before: I missed the bus. OK, it happened once since we moved to our new home, but this was more dramatic. When I opened the front door at 7:39 on Monday morning, I saw the bus at the bus stop. This was unusual since the bus isn’t supposed to arrive until 7:40 and usually doesn’t get there until closer to 7:45. I frantically raced towards the bus, but I was too late as the bus started pulling away. I was too far away for the driver or anyone on the bus to see me, but for 5 seconds, I thought that perhaps I could keep up with the bus until the next stop less than a 1/2 mile away. Unfortunately, I am not Usain Bolt. Plus, I was wearing shoes that would not allow me to run a 4.2, 40.

I had to think quickly. I couldn’t wait 30 minutes until the next bus arrived, but could I catch up to the bus? I raced back inside the house, where Ziggy was surprised and pleased to see me home so soon. I should also mention that Ziggy was partially to blame for me missing the bus in the first place. He decided to be cute before I left home and rolled on his back so that I could rub his stomach. Anyway, I brushed off Ziggy, went to the garage and got into my car. I caught up to the bus three stops later, but by the time I would have parked, the bus would have been off again.

I passed the bus and drove two stops ahead where I may or may not have run a red light. I parked in a shopping center and made it to the stop about 20 seconds before the bus arrived. When I got on the bus, I realized what went wrong. There was a new bus driver. How dare a new bus driver get to the stop on time or even a minute early? I walked to my seat, said hello to a fellow passenger who was shocked to see me at the new stop, and made it to work on time. Unfortunately, I left my cell phone at home.

Yesterday, the regular driver was back and the bus arrived at 7:44. I told the bus driver that I missed him on Monday, and he replied that it was nice to be missed. He has no idea.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trivia Tuesday: TV Character Edition

Before Trivia Tuesday commences, I have a few housekeeping items. First, congratulations to Johanna for winning the New Ramblings Giveaway contest courtesy of In case you're wondering, Johanna wrote that her favorite drink is iced coffee or an iced Americano or a Bloody Mary or a Gin and Tonic. Four favorite drinks seems like a few too many.

Next, please note the "LiLu for MTV TJ badge" at the top right of this blog. I met LiLu at a Happy Hour of DC Bloggers several years ago and am a huge fan of her blog. Anyway, MTV contacted LiLu to become a contestant in their TJ (Twitter Jockey) contest. I'm sure that I'll write more about this in the upcoming weeks, but please support LiLu.

On to the trivia. Your challenge this week is to identify the famous TV characters based on the actor's name and years that the show ran. We need both the first and last name.

1. Ian McShane, 2004-2006

2. Kiefer Sutherland, 2001-2010

3. James Gandolfini, 1999-2007

4. Carroll O'Connor, 1971-1983

5. Dennis Franz, 1993-2005

6. Matthew Fox, 2004-2010

7. Hugh Laurie, 2004-2010

8. Richard Dean Anderson, 1985-1992

9. Dustin Diamond, 1989-1993

10. Michael J. Fox, 1982-1989

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

This quiz is courtesy of Stump Trivia.

Monday, June 21, 2010

World Cup Notes

Since I’m a soccer referee, several people have asked me over the last few days to explain the call by referee Koman Coulibaly during the US-Slovenia game which nullified Maurice Edu’s probable game-winning goal. I’ve got nothing. He definitely blew the whistle before the ball went into the net, but if anything, the call should have resulted in an American penalty kick.

On the topic of the US-Slovenia game, Landon Donovan’s goal (and this picture) was just awesome.

The best quote about the goal came from Tom Dart of the London Times. "The match was transformed after 48 minutes when Donovan capitalised on a defensive slip to race clear on the right. He leathered his shot into the roof of the net so forcefully that [goalie] Samir Handanovic appeared to decide not to try to save it for fear that the ball might amputate one of his hands."

Donovan’s goal reminded me a lot of Evgeni Malkin’s goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2008 NHL playoffs. I think Malkin and Donovan just thought, I'm going to hit this as hard as I can and dare you to stop it. Take that!

I watched the US-Slovenia match at one of the best known soccer bars in the DC area. Despite this fact, someone yelled "c'mon ref throw the flag" after a Slovenian player fouled Jozy Altidore. He was not joking.

Play-by-play guy Martin Tyler, who called the Brazil-Ivory Coast and US-England matches, is really good.

However, where is JP Dellacamera, America’s best soccer play-by-play announcer?

I love the exchanging of jerseys after World Cup games. If I’m playing against England, I’m immediately running over to Wayne Rooney at the conclusion of the match to get his jersey. Now the question I have is what the players do with the jerseys after the game. Do they wash and frame them or do they put them on Ebay?

Look at the possible jerseys in Group G. If I’m a North Korean player, I’m getting an Ivory Coast Didier Drogba jersey; a Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal jersey and a jersey of just about any Brazilian player (let’s say Kaka, mostly since it's fun to say Kaka). Of course, Kim Jong-Il will probably just take those jerseys after the team returns home.

Before or after nearly every commercial break as part of the ESPN/ABC coverage, there is a 5-second song played over the World Cup logo. Does anyone know the lyrics? For all I know, they are singing, buy Coca-Cola now. At this point, I think I’d even settle for the language of the lyrics.

The New Oxford American Dictionary announces the word of the year annually. The 2009 word of the year was unfriend. The 2010 word of the year has to be vuvuzela, right?

Speaking of vuvuzelas, they have been banned from Wimbledon.

You may or may not know that the French team is a disaster. Striker Nicolas Anelka was sent home the team director resigned and the team refused to practice on Sunday. If anyone from Ireland or Irish soccer fans read this, are you happy to see the French mess or are you upset that Ireland arguably should be in South Africa instead of France (or both)?

Finally, here's the scenarios by which the U.S. can advance to the knockout stages (courtesy of Deadspin).

Slovenia is in the driver's seat in group C, with 4 points. The US and England each have 2, and Algeria 1. This puts the USA in control of their own destiny, because

If the US wins, they're through to the round of 16. A win would give us 5 points in the group. With England and Slovenia playing each other, there's no way both could finish with more points.

If the US loses, they're out. Ceding three points to Algeria lets them leapfrog us, and we're unable to catch Slovenia, no matter what they do in their final game.

The US could also draw their final game (they've shown themselves quite proficient at that). That's where things get complicated.

If the US draws, and England beats Slovenia, they're out. England would finish with 5, Slovenia with 4, and the USMNT with 3.

If the US draws, and Slovenia beats England, they're through to the round of 16. Slovenia would win the group with 7, the US with 3, and England and Algeria with 2 apiece.

If the US draws, and Slovenia and England draw, it comes down to tiebreakers. Slovenia would win the group with 5, and England and America would be tied with 3. Here are the variables:

•The first tiebreaker is goal differential. The US and England would have tied all three matches, so we move on.
•The second tiebreaker is goals scored. After two games, the US has scored 3, while England has scored 1. That looks good for the US, as long as the England/Slovenia match isn't high-scoring. It's possible for England and Slovenia to finish 3-3, and the US/Algeria to finish 0-0. In that case England would move on. If England/Slovenia finished, say, 2-2 and the US plays a scoreless draw, we move on to the next tiebreaker.
•The third tiebreaker is points obtained in head-to-head matches. The US and England tied, so we move on.
•The fourth tiebreaker is goal differential in head-to-head matches. Again, a tie.
•The fifth tiebreaker is goals scored head-to-head. That's one apiece, so we move on.

If the US and England are still tied after all the tiebreakers, FIFA draws lots to determine who moves on. Yes, at the most important sporting event in the world, a coin will be flipped to decide the winner.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Brian Austin Green

This is Brian Austin Green with his fiancee Megan Fox.

You may know Green as the winner of the 2004 Los Angeles DIY Film Festival’s Festival Prize, 2004 Palm Beach International Film Festival’s Special Jury Prize, and 2004 Philadelphia FirstGlance Film Festival’s Festival Award for Fish Without a Bicycle. Perhaps you know him as "Gary" from two episodes of Small Wonder or as "Rapper in Fresh Kid’s Music Group" in a 1991 episode of Growing Pains. Regardless of these illustrious roles, Brian Austin Green has had quite a career. No I’m not referring to his acting career.

It was announced this week that Green is engaged to Megan Fox. Previously, Green dated Vanessa Marcil of General Hospital and Las Vegas fame and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. I think it’s accurate to write that these women are, well, hot. So my question is how has Brian Austin Green been so successful? You can probably attribute the relationship with Thiessen to spending significant time together as co-stars on Beverly Hills 90210. However, what has Green does since 90210? We’re not talking about George Clooney or Brad Pitt; this is Brian Austin Green. How has Green done so well for himself? Anyone?

P.S. Don't forget to enter the New Ramblings Giveaway for your chance to win at $80 gift certificate from Enter in the post below.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Ramblings Giveaway

I love Besides having over 200+ stores under the CSN umbrella, they also selected me as a CSN Preferred Blogger. More companies really should select me as a preferred blogger. Earlier this year, one lucky Sean’s Ramblings reader won a bean bag chair courtesy of CSN. Now, they are offering an even better opportunity. I am proud to announce a brand new Ramblings Giveaway. The prize: an $80 gift certificate that can be used at any of the CSN stores!

Before I explain how to enter, here’s a word from our sponsors. Did you know that one of the CSN sites sells bathroom vanities? Well, now you know.

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below. Here’s a topic if you can’t think of anything to write. I recently visited an elementary school, and the kids asked me all kinds of questions including my favorite color, sport and food. Well, I’m asking you to share your favorite beverage. You can be general like beer or specific like Duff Beer. Personally, I like my citrus drinks. I have a glass of orange juice every morning. However, I also love a nice glass of lemonade during the summer. Since this is my blog (and I am a preferred blogger), I’m declaring two favorite drinks. Take that!

Please enter your comment by Sunday, June 20th 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. One entry per person. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In The Year 2000

This week's Trivia Tuesday is a Sporcle quiz based on the year 2000. Your challenge is to name the top news headlines from 2000 (according to the AP). I scored a 23 out of 29.

As an added bonus, name the TV shows from their opening song titles. I scored a rather poor 11 of 18 on this one.

Please share your results in the comments section below. Good luck!

(I promise to have a "real" Trivia Tuesday next week.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Celebrate Fairfax 2010 Highlights

How do you eat funnel cake, pizza, quesadillas, brownies, kettle corn, a gyro, many varieties of chips/salty snacks and drink significantly more pop (or soda as some of you call the carbonated beverage) than usual and still manage to lose a few pounds? Volunteer at the Celebrate Fairfax festival for an entire weekend! I spent approximately 42 hours over the past three days walking dozens of miles, lifting stuff, putting up and taking down tent sidewalls and talking a lot (does this help with weight loss?).

Here are some brief notables from this year’s festival:

- KC of KC & the Sunshine Band proclaimed that he was your mom’s Justin Timberlake. Somewhere, David Cassidy and Leif Garrett disagree.

- KC also requested coffee.

- Like more behind the scenes stuff? The girlfriend of one of the headline performers brought a dog, but apparently did not have a leash. Several staff members scrambled to find a dog leash.

- After signing autographs, Washington Redskin DeAngelo Hall got a rendering of himself done by a caricature artist.

- I saw Rusted Root play for the first time in 15 years. They still sound great. I really need to break out my Rusted Root cassettes and play them again. Yes, cassettes and not CDs.

- Upon arriving home on Saturday night/Sunday morning, I sat on the couch to check e-mail and my fantasy baseball team. I promptly fell asleep, woke up about two hours later, and then spent the next 30 minutes trying to find the energy to go upstairs while continuing to doze off.

As usual, I really enjoyed the event and look forward to volunteering and seeing everyone again next year. Unfortunately, it may take me a few more days to recover and catch up on sleep!

Photo by Matt.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Witnessing Stephen Strasburg

Jesus arrived to the major leagues on Tuesday. He probably spent his entire life dreaming of reaching the majors. After spending more than a decade in the minors, the New York Mets recalled outfielder Jesus Feliciano from AAA. Were you expecting another Jeezus?

I was one of the 40,315 in attendance for Tuesday's game between the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates. I was also one of probably only a few hundred wearing any type of Pirates gear (and I'm not including a guy wearing a Jerome Bettis jersey and another with a Hines Ward one). As a baseball fan, this was one of the greatest atmospheres and games I’ve attended in person. The only games in the same ballpark over the last 15 years were Francisco Cordova outdueling rookie phenom Kerry Wood in Pittsburgh; Sammy Sosa hitting home run #60-something in San Diego during the memorable 1998 season; and game four of the San Diego Padres-Atlanta Braves National League Championship Series. As a Pirates fan, I was obviously disappointed with the result.

Amazingly, Strasburg exceeded the hype. He became the first pitcher in baseball history to get 14 strikeouts in less than 96 pitches. Sure, some people are going to mock the Pittsburgh Pirates line-up. This was not the 1971 Pirates featuring Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Bob Robertson and Al Oliver. However, the Pirates beat Roy Halladay last month and fared well against Tim Lincecum earlier this week. Plus, no pitcher had struck out 14 batters against the Pirates this year.

Here are my notes from the game (and there are pictures below):

* At least for one night, Washington was a baseball town. The crowd stood and cheered every time Strasburg got two strikes on a Pirates hitter. As a comparison, when I attended a Nationals game last month, the crowd barely made noise when Scott Olsen got to two strikes, and he had a no-hitter into the 8th inning. In addition, the seats were full well before the first pitch. I mentioned this above, but this was definitely one of the best baseball atmospheres I’ve seen.

* Now the negative. I don’t understand why many Nats fans felt the need to boo Lastings Milledge. He was a decent person in Washington who just happened to underperform as a player. Due to his upside, the Nationals were able to parlay him and Joel Hanrahan for the popular Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett. Is that worth booing? There were also fans who jeered Ryan Church. What did he do as a National to deserve this reaction?

* I also don't understand wearing jerseys of players not associated with either team playing. For example, I saw people wearing jerseys or T-shirts of the following players: Justin Verlander; Chase Utley; Geovany Soto; Nolan Ryan (actually, this one was pretty cool); David Ortiz (who must really, really despise Milledge); and, a Redskins' Champ Bailey.

* Remember when Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez got benched last month for jogging and all of the subsequent media coverage? Well, Nats manager Jim Riggleman should have benched Strasburg for slowly jogging during his first at-bat. If Strasburg would have showed any effort at all running down the first base line, he would have easily had his first major league hit. The manager needed to set an example to his team, and should have promptly removed Strasburg for a lack of effort. Yes, I am writing this since removing Strasburg would have improved the Pirates chance at winning!

* Stephen Strasburg’s song is Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes. Nice choice. The song also has one of my favorite lyrics ever: I’m going to Wichita. Far from this opera forever more.

* For Strasburg’s debut and since Tony Gwynn was in attendance, I was disappointed not to see any San Diego State gear at the game. S, D, S, U; SDSU; Aztecs Fight!

* Jaared performed the national anthem. It was not this Jared.

* I joked here yesterday (as well as on Twitter and Facebook since I evidently thought this joke needed to be shared everywhere) that all anyone talked about after the game was Pirates pitcher Evan Meek. But was I really joking? Meek pitched 2 scoreless innings giving up 0 hits and 0 walks with 1 strikeout. In his 22 pitches, he threw 18 strikes including first pitch strikes to all 6 batters he faced. Through Tuesday night's game, Meek now has an ERA of 0.78 in 34.2 innings.

* I really thought that last night would be the game when Teddy would win the Presidents’ Race. Nope.

As promised, here are some pictures from the game. Well, I took three pictures and then discovered that my camera batteries died.

Neil Walker & Nyjer Morgan before the game:

They are joined by a cast of thousands, er, a few other players:

Strasburg before his first pitch:

A few more pictures courtesy of Big Kahuna

Finally, here are some links from people who get paid to write about sports:

Dejan Kovacevic of the Post-Gazette.
Gene Collier of the P-G
Daniel Malloy of the P-G's Washington Bureau
Adam Kilgore - Washington Post
Tom Boswell of the Post
Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog provided amazing coverage here (view from the stands), here (from Bob Costas) & here (the game had huge TV ratings in DC).

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

I’m a Star in Kittanning

I’ll share my thoughts and pictures from the Washington Nationals-Pittsburgh Pirates “Strasberg” game tomorrow, though they really should call it the Evan Meek game as he looked dominant. In the meantime, I invite you to click here to see my appearance on Rizzo Sports Week. This was my second time Mike invited me on the show, so I guess that I didn’t embarrass myself or him for first time. Actually, he may have been desparate for a guest after getting Rob Egan, GM of the Altoona Curve, and Greg Linnelli of Fox Sports Radio Pittsburgh the previous weeks. I guess that there have not been any FCC complaints about me, so that has to be worth something, right?

If you are brave enough to watch the video, I’d really like to know what you think about my performance. I think I sound terrible, but that’s just me. I appear via phone just before the 5:00 minute mark, and we talk about the Pirates, Penguins, Steelers, Nationals, Strasberg and the World Cup.

With the World Cup starting tomorrow, don’t forget to join my World Cup fantasy league [click join an existing group, and enter the group ID# (19911), and password (troy43)]. It’s really easy; all you have to do is pick the winner of each game at least five minutes before the start of the game. If you only want to select the winner of South Africa-Mexico today, that’s fine. You don’t need to pick the result of the U.S.-England game until Saturday afternoon (Eastern time).

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Trivia Tuesday: Name That Tune

Your challenge this week is to name the artist based on the lyrics for 10 songs listed below. Good luck!

1. My Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa
You’re my reason for reason

2. Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage.

3. Valentine is done
Here but now they’re gone
Romeo and Juliet
Are together in eternity

4. Another day, another dollar, another war,
Another tower went up, where the homeless had their homes
So we pray to as many different God's as there are flowers
But we call religion our friend

5. DC chillin’, PG chillin’
My name _____, and I came to get it.
Came to get it, came to get it
My name _____.

6. It’s poetry in motion
She turned her tender eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony

7. Shake shake shake, shake shake shake,
Shake your booty! Shake your booty!

8. I would like to reach out my hands
I may see you, I may tell you to run.
Nobody safe, nobody on. (I’ve probably heard this song hundreds of times; I never knew that this line contained these words.)

9. Save me, I'm lost
Oh lord, I've been waiting for you
I'll pay any cost
Save me from being confused

10. We’re Josh Thompson and Jimmy Wayne and Sean doesn’t know any of our songs, so he’s just making up lyrics since the artists in #7-#10 are performing at Celebrate Fairfax this weekend.

This is also a subtle plug that discounted tickets are available for Celebrate Fairfax through Thursday. I understand that I am biased since I have worked or voluteered at the festival for the past 8 years, but Celebrate Fairfax truly is one of the best festivals around. If you live in the DC area, come out this weekend.

Oh, for Trivia Tuesday, please leave your answers in the comments section below, and as usual, don't use the internet for answers.

Monday, June 07, 2010

2010 World Cup Preview

With the World Cup only days away, you can probably find a preview in every newspaper, magazine, television show and website around the world. In these previews, you will likely find analysis about who will win each group and specific information about Argentina's great Lionel Messi and the impact Didier Drogba's injury will have on the Ivory Coast's chances. Well, you're not going to find this information here. Instead, I'm proud to provide a World Cup preview about stuff you probably didn't think you wanted to know!

The tallest players in the World Cup are Serbia's Nikola Zigic at 6'8" and England's Peter Crouch at 6'7". Crouch is listed at 165 pounds, which couldn't be correct, right? Los Angeles Lakers' Ron Artest is 6'7" and 260 pounds!

The shortest players are Danilo Tucios & Walter Martinez of Honduras; Aaron Lenon of England; and Arthur Boka of the Ivory Coast at 5'5". I feel tall compared to these guys!

There are only 18 players at the World Cup weighing 200 pounds or more, yet 3 are Americans led by the heaviest player in South Africa goalie Marcus Hahnemann at 227 pounds. U-S-A! U-S-A! Of these 18 players, 10 are goalies

The lightest player in South Africa is France's Mathieu Valbuena at 128 pounds.

The oldest player is the Netherlands' Sander Boschker born on October 20, 1970.

The youngest World Cup participant is Denmark's Christian Eriksen born on February 14, 1992. You feel old, don't you?

The player with the longest name is Sokratis Papastrathopoulos. You'll be shocked to discover that he plays for Greece.

The player with the shortest name is former Pittsburgh Pirate, Ed Ott. Actually, for a two-name player (as opposed to players known by only one name like Portugal's Deco) Japan's Yuki Abe and North Korea's Ri Jun-Il share the honor.

Where's Waldo (Ponce)? He's a defender for Chile.

If you still have the humor of a 13 year-old, here is your World Cup all-name team:

Kim Dong-Jin - South Korea
Kaka - Brazil
Pepe - Portugal
Danny Shittu - Nigeria
Jorg Butt - Germany
Gaetan Bong - Cameroon
Herculez Gomez - United States I just feel like this is an awesome name!

I share a birthday with America's Oguchi Onyewu and the Ivory Coast's Yaya Toure.

Germany's Jermone Boateng has a brother, Kevin-Prince Boateng, that plays for Ghana. Apparently Kevin-Prince Boateng became frustrated in not getting called up by the German team and decided to represent the country of his father's birth. Naturally, they will face each other in Group D.

Italy has two players named Fabio (Fabio Cannavaro and Fabio Quagliarella).

Is there any chance that Australia's Scott Chipperfield is related to magician David Copperfield?

Cameroon's Geremi spoke in class today.

Oakland Raider great Tim Brown, now apparently plays as a midfielder for New Zealand.

While you won't see David Beckham playing in South Africa, you may see Denmark's Mikkel Beckmann.

North Korea doesn't believe the rules apply to them.

Finally, don't forget to sign up for my World Cup fantasy league. Just go to the Yahoo World Cup group page, click join an existing group, and enter the group ID# (19911) and password (troy43).

P.S. Much of this post is also available on BlogCritics, though I added a little extra here.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Sean On Fashion: Former Prime Minister Edition

Let me preface this post by stating that I have no fashion sense. I think that’s what makes my infrequent Sean On Fashion posts so much fun (even if some people don’t feel the same way). With that, let me introduce you Japan’s Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and “The Hatoyama Shirt.”

When this picture was taken on May 26th, Hatoyama was the Prime Minister of Japan; however, Hatoyama resigned earlier this week. While Hatoyama claims that he resigned because he broke a campaign promise to close the American Marine base in Okinawa, I think that’s a cover. He was forced out because of this shirt. You can’t be a respected leader and wear this shirt!

Apparently, you can now buy a replica of “The Hatoyama Shirt” for only $500. Then, you too can pretend to be a former Prime Minister!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Fantasy World Cup League

I’ve probably mentioned my addition to fantasy leagues in the past. Besides the traditional fantasy football and baseball leagues, I also participate in fantasy hockey leagues, the Ted Marshall Open Television Death Pool (essentially a TV fantasy league), and sadly, a Rock of Love fantasy league. With the World Cup only one week away, I figured that I would start a World Cup fantasy league.

Therefore, I invite you to join the Polamalu on Roster=US Victory group. Don’t know anything about international soccer? Who cares! This is for fun and we won’t judge you (unless you somehow manage to pick Canada to win it all, which would be extremely difficult since they are not 1 of the 32 teams...and because Sidney Crosby isn’t on the team).

Just go to the Yahoo World Cup group page, click join an existing group, and enter the group ID# (19911) and password (troy43).

By the way, if Polamalu was a soccer player instead of a football player, he would be a dominant defender. Wayne Rooney wouldn't have a chance against Troy!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I Lose (Get Off My Property)

As a TMI Thursday last December, I shared a story about a trip to the doctor’s office. The appointment went well though there was some confusion about a Tetanus shot. The short version of the story is that the doctor showed a fax indicating that I received a shot from a facility called Travel Clinic; however, I never heard of the Travel Clinic, the fax did not include a patient name, and I never got the shot. The doctor asked me to clear things up with the Travel Clinic and come back if I did need the shot. Consider this part two of the story.

I returned to the doctor’s office several weeks after my initial visit and received the Tetanus shot. You would think that would be the end of the story, but if it was, this would be a terrible blog post! A few weeks later, an invoice of $20 arrived in my mailbox from the doctor’s office for the shot. When I called asking for an explanation, I learned that if I got the shot when I originally planned, there would not have been a charge. The charge was for coming back to the office on a separate occasion. Essentially, the doctor’s office made a mistake by having a random fax in my file. I called this fact to the office’s attention, but, shockingly, there were no notes of this in my file.

I decided that I wasn’t going to pay the $20. While $20 isn’t going to make or break whether or not I can pay my bills, that’s 3+ California Tortilla burritos or 2.5 days of commuting expenses (or 2 days starting in the next few months). I wouldn’t put $20 on a hand of blackjack in Vegas, so I wasn’t readily going to give it up based on an error made by the folks charging the fee. Over the last few months, I probably received 3 or 4 invoices from the office, with the final one arriving last week stating that I was going to collections. I called the office on Tuesday, and, again shockingly, there was nothing in my file stating that I didn’t need to pay for the shot. Reluctantly, I gave up. I wasn’t going to win this battle. I’m sure I sounded defeated when I said that I was switching doctors, but I don’t think they care. The only consolation is that at least I forced the office to spend $2 on postage.

By the way, 5 points to anyone who knows the reference of this post’s title (actual quote: You lose. Get off my property!)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Trivia Tuesday

Welcome to June! I'm sure that you could be outside enjoying the nice weather (assuming that the weather is nice in your neighborhood today) or even working. However, coming off the holiday weekend, wouldn't you rather see how well you know the past decade? This week's challenge is courtesy of Sporcle, the greatest website ever (besides Sean's Ramblings, of course).

1. Name the biggest and/or best songs from 2000-2009. I think I did pretty well by scoring 124 out of 168.

2. Name the Top 5 Rushers in terms of yards for each individual NFL team from 2000-2009. I scored an 86 out of 160 on this one.

3. Name the Top 5 Passers for each NFL team for the years 2000-2009 (yards). I scored 82 out of 160 but did not know the #5 passer for the Steelers during the past decade.

These quizzes are longer and take some time, but I think they are worth it. Please leave your results in the comments section below. Good luck!