Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Choice Is Yours

With this post, I made through it all thirty days of National Blog Posting Month ("NaBloPoMo"). I hope that you joined me throughout this adventure and enjoyed the ride. Actually, unless you read my blog while driving (probably not a good idea) or in a car, you likely didn't go on a ride. Anyway, do not expect 31 blog posts for December, but I'll definitely post throughout the month.

Now, enjoy Black Sheep for your Saturday.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Celebrate Hanukkah With Pickles

Happy Hanukkah (or Chanukah or whatever way you would like to spell it)! I hope that you are including the tradition of eating pickles as part of your celebration. Not familiar with this tradition? Well, I explained the history of pickle tasting/eating last year:

The tradition of eating pickles on Chanukah dates back centuries decades to 1998 in the biblical town of Jerusalem San Diego. On a cold (for San Diego) December day, there was a Kosher Pickle Taste Test at San Diego State University. Hundreds of student, faculty and staff participated in this extremely successful event. The next day, SDSU’s student newspaper, The Daily Aztec, showed pictures of the event on the front page.

And with that, a tradition was born. Help spread this relatively new tradition by eating pickles this Chanukah.

If you celebrate, I wish you and your family a Happy Chanukah!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Message 2013

On this Thanksgiving, I wanted to share this message for you and your family:

Turkey and sweet potato pie
Sammy Davis Jr. only had one eye

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Trivia Wednesday

I wasn't planning on posting trivia this week, so that's why we're having Trivia Wednesday instead of Trivia Tuesday.

I'm dating myself (again), but do you remember the game show Classic Concentration hosted by Alex Trebek? The end game involved the contestant identifying a phrase or name based on pictured symbols. This week's trivia is somewhat like that. Your challenge is to name the ten artists and songs based on the pictured symbols below.

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

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

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Blogger Event at Fair Oaks Mall Recap

Let's go back to a time before Rihanna won the American Music Awards' Icon award. A time before the Minnesota Vikings led by QB Christian Ponder tied the Green Bay Packers led by Matt Flynn. I'm sure that people will remember both of these events for generations. Yes, let's go all the way back to last Wednesday when I wrote about my apprehension of going to a Northern Virginia blogger event. Well, I attended the event hosted by Andrea of the Real Housewives of Northern Virginia at Fair Oaks Mall and had a nice time. All of the bloggers were nice (some had even read my blog post) and the staff at Fair Oaks Mall were extremely generous. Plus, free food and drinks! Let's go to the recap.

I arrived at the mall just in time to be escorted to Champps for the first course. We had chicken tenders and chicken skewers, and I got my first opportunity to mingle. With other men, I can always use sports as a fall back conversation topic. With women, that doesn't always work. However, one of the first person I met was from Western Pennsylvania and is a Steelers fan. I figured this was a good sign.

Despite writing Sean's Ramblings for nearly nine (yes nine!) years, I have a hard time describing this blog. Most of the people I met have specific themes to their blogs like Amy of A Little Nosh, who writes about family-friendly recipes, and Gina of Money Wise Moms, who writes about family finance and frugal fun. My blog is all over the place and always has been. With all of the Mom bloggers in attendance, I felt the need to say that my blog involves fatherhood posts, which it does, but I also write about TV, pop culture, Pittsburgh sports, and so many other topics.

After Champps, we visited the new Michael and Sons Fun Zone and got to be the first people to explore the play area before the grand opening which occurred last Friday.

There seems to be more seating than the previous play area and there's only one entrance making it easier to track your child(ren). I also had the opportunity to speak with the designer who explained that the material used in the fun zone is anti-bacterial. That was a huge hit. In case you're wondering, yes, I went down the slide.

After more free food courtesy of Luciano Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria, we saw Santa and the Ice Princess at the mall's Ice Palace. While I was impressed with all of the work put into building the Ice Palace including a cool room with falling "snow," Santa really isn't my thing. I'm more of a Hanukkah Harry guy.*

I didn't sit on Santa's lap or tell him what I wanted for Christmas, so I just wished him a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Then, I approached the Ice Princess and asked her if people visit Santa and then completely skip her. She replied that many girls like to take pictures with her, but most boys pass since they can't get past the princess label.

Our final stop of the evening was dessert at Sbarro. More free food! Overall, I enjoyed the event and was glad that I attended. I met some fascinating people and even got a few parenting tips. The Fair Oaks Mall staff were terrific, and the new Fun Zone is going to be a big hit with kids and their parents. (There's a 100% chance my son will play at the Fun Zone this winter.)

Meanwhile, I'm excited to attend the next Northern Virginia event whenever that takes place, particularly if it involves free food!

* This is now two 1980s era Saturday Night Live references in the past three days. Clearly, I have not watched the show much in the past 10 years.

Fun Zone photo courtesy of Our Kids.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Steelers-Browns Recap

It is extremely difficult to concentrate on the Steelers game while entertaining my two year old child. Fortunately, enjoying to wave the Terrible Towel seems to be passing to the next generation. When the Steelers score a touchdown, I wave my Terrible Towel and yell "Wooooo." I then hand the towel to my son, and he does the same thing. It is incredibly cute. We had the opportunity to do that three times on Sunday. Then we went back to stacking blocks.

The Steelers defeated Cleveland 27-11. Here are some notes about the game:

- I really miss Myron Cope referring to the Cleveland Browns as the Cleve Brownies.

- Before the opening kickoff, CBS broadcaster Solomon Wilcots said that people in Northern Ohio live for this weather, meaning cold and windy. While I haven't spent that much time in Cleveland, I don't remember having any conversations with anyone who lives there or is from there that "lives for" the cold weather. Seems like folks in Northern Ohio enjoy the summer weather at Cedar Point.

- A lot of people are going to credit the Steelers offensive line for the win. That makes sense as the Browns had no sacks. Not as noticeable but also impressive was the fact that the Steelers only had 2 penalties for 8 yards. Besides one illegal formation penalty, there were no false starts or holding calls against the Steelers.

- A +4 turnover margin and 5 sacks by the Steelers defense were also huge.

- Ray Horton, the Browns defensive coordinator, served as a Steelers coach for several years. Apparently, CBS invested serious money and/or energy putting a camera outside the Browns coaching box as they showed Horton constantly in the first half.

- Cameron Heyward showed a really good stiff-arm while running after his fumble recovery.

- I don't understand something. Ben Roethlisberger throws right-handed but punts left-footed. Shouldn't he kick with his right foot?

- When I heard the announcers call Tank Carter, I thought of the former Steelers safety Tyrone "Tank" Carter. Turns out the Browns have a completely different player named Tank Carder.

- Seems like Browns' back-up running back F. Whittaker could get a better gig after winning an Oscar for Last King of Scotland and probably getting an Oscar nomination for The Butler.

- Steelers punter Mat McBriar got crushed on a kick but the ref only called running into the kicker. Apparently, the Browns needed to actually grab McBriar's leg and break it in half to get a roughing the kicker penalty.

- I hate Ramsey from this Bud Light commercial. If a friend purposely dumped the chips on the floor, he's not getting invited back.

- I hope that Antonio Brown traded jerseys with Josh Gordon after the game like he did with Calvin Johnson last week. Brown had another good game, but Gordon was nearly unstoppable.

- Do you know the game, give me five, on the side, up high, down low, you're too slow? I feel like Keisel is doing the up high part to Dick LeBeau.

The Steelers are now undefeated (3-0) when they know I'm going to write a recap of their game.

Thanks to Cotter for the gifs.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wayne's World Wayne's World Potty Time Excellent

Over the past few weeks, we've started to work on potty training with our son. When I write "work on potty training," this pretty much means that we put our son on the toilet before bath time or whenever he says potty. He sits on his special seat while we sit on the bathtub next to him and read him books. After anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, he says all done and happily flushes the toilet. Of course, he has only actually "gone potty" once, and I've never actually seen it happen. Many evenings, he won't urinate in the toilet, but will do so almost immediately after we put him in the bathtub.

While I understand that the first step is actually getting him on the toilet, and he seems to enjoy that, how do you encourage him to actually use the toilet? Any suggestions?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Muppets Most Wanted Trailer

Although I've only seen two movies in the theater this year, I came across this official trailer for the upcoming Muppets movie. I want to go to there.

Dominic Badguy made me laugh.

Friday, November 22, 2013

It's Good To Be A Bomber

Ithaca College and its most famous graduates are doing well right now. Gavin MacLeod, best known for his role on The Love Boat, recently released a book titled This Is Your Captain Speaking. (I'll have a review of the book sometime soon.) He's been making the rounds promoting his book including a stop on The Today Show. Meanwhile, David Boreanaz is back for another season of Bones as well as starring on DirecTV's Full Circle.

The Birthday Boys, of a new sketch comedy show with the same name on IFC is funny and seems to be doing well. (They even scored an interview with the newspaper of the other college in Ithaca.)

CCH Pounder has had a recurring role on Suns of Anarchy all season.

David Muir is the weekend anchor for ABC News' "World News" and co-anchor of "20/20."

Ithaca's athletic teams are also doing well. The football team hosts Framingham State University in the Division 3 playoffs on Saturday. The women's soccer team is the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA tournament and faces Messiah (not frequent reader and collaborator Messiah) this weekend.

Finally, I went to a Northern Virginia blogger event last night (more on that soon), and, um, am more than 2/3 of the way through NaBloPoMo. Yes, it's good to be a Bomber!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

My 2013-2014 Ted Marshall Open Picks

Although the 2013-2014 television season started months ago, I realized that I never shared my picks for this year's Ted Marshall Open TV Death Pool. I going to blame CW and Oh Sit for this since we still don't have a winner for the 2012-2013 season. JUST CANCEL THE SHOW ALREADY, CW!

Anyway, if you're not familiar with the Ted Marshall Open, it is a contest to see who can guess which TV shows will be canceled during the 2013-2014 season. As someone who has participated in the Open for several years, it completely changes the way you watch and think about television.

Here are the basic rules:
- Eligible shows include all first-run comedies, dramas, prime-time news, daytime and late-night shows running on the five major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW), except for weekend non prime-time shows.

- Certain shows, such Dancing with the Stars, have multiple airings per week. For a show to earn points, all airings of the show must be canceled.

- Each canceled show you selected earns 20 points, plus bonus points for where it was ranked. Your top ranked show earns 10 bonus points, your second 9 all the way down to 1. The maximum score possible is 255 points.

- A show is considered canceled when it is determined that there will be no more first run episodes of the selected show on any of the six major networks after September 8, 2014.

- A show must air at least one first-run episode between September 9, 2013 and September 8, 2014 on the five major networks for any points to be awarded. Shows like Law and Order: Criminal Intent are not eligible since the first-run episodes do not air on NBC.

And now, here are my picks:

10 - How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
9 - American Dad (FOX)
8 - Nikita (CW)
7 - Super Fun Night (ABC)
6 - We Are Men (CBS) - Already canceled!

5 - Dads (FOX)
4 - Ironside (NBC) - Already canceled!
3 - Reckless (CBS)
2 - Trophy Wife (ABC)
1- Sean Saves the World (NBC)

Overall, I feel pretty good about my picks. This is the final season of HIMYM, American Dad is scheduled to move to TBS next year, and this should be the last season of Nikita. The remaining shows are all new this season and don't appear to be doing well in the ratings. Reckless hasn't appeared yet, and while I don't remember what it is about, it seemed (to me) like a show that wouldn't last.

Finally, although Trophy Wife didn't look terrible and has actually received decent reviews, the show fell into my "Knights of Prosperity" rule this year. Several years ago, I selected The Knights of Prosperity, a show that featured Donal Logue and a not-yet famous Sofia Vergara, that was originally titled Let's Rob Mick Jagger (I believe). Although Jagger appeared in the first episode, the network wanted him to be a series regular. That didn't happen, so they changed the show's name. Basically, it appeared to be a mess, so I picked it for cancellation. While I ended up being right, I watched all of the episodes and found it to be a funny show. Therefore, while Trophy Wife might be good, I now refuse to watch new shows that I slated for cancellation.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Highway To The Uncomfortable Zone*

As I get older, I notice that I'm becoming more and more introverted. I have some good friends, but meeting new people and participating in new activities just doesn't interest me. However, I'm taking a big step out of my comfort zone later this week and felt the need to share.

While I have become involved in a Pittsburgh Bloggers group with some amazing people, the fact that I don't actually live in Pittsburgh anymore makes it difficult to truly get involved outside of the online part of the community. Therefore, I started looking for any type of Northern Virginia Blogging community and found out about an event for NoVa bloggers.

So now I'm scheduled to go to an event that seems geared toward Mommy bloggers. Not only will I know no one there, I will likely be one of the only men in attendance. 24 year-old me would be psyched about the potential female-to-male ratio (though maybe not with the likely age discrepancy and with the uncertainty about what to talk about with parents with young kids), but late 30s me is a little apprehensive and a bit nervous. While I'll share my experiences of the event soon, if anyone reads this and is a DC/NoVa blogger that wants more information about this event or wants to attend with me as a Wingman/Wingwoman, please let me know.

* I really am terrible at coming up with blog post titles.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Trivia Tuesday: 10 Pictures, 1 Eye

Happy Tuesday, boys and girls. Your challenge today is to name the one-eyed characters pictured below.

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

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

Monday, November 18, 2013

Steelers-Lions Recap

It wasn't always pretty, especially in the second quarter, but the Steelers defeated the Detroit Lions yesterday in a stressful 37-27 game. After taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, you thought (or at least hoped) that the Steelers would cruise to an easy victory. Not so much. The Lions scored an incredible 27 points in the second quarter to take a 27-20 lead at halftime. The Steelers, led by Ben Roethlisberger's 367 passing yards and 4 touchdown passes, prevailed by holding Lions' wide receiver Calvin Johnson to zero catches in the second half while and not giving up any Lions points. Here are my notes from Sunday:

- I'm an Ike Taylor apologist. Over the past decade, he has been one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Taylor's biggest problem, at least in the eyes of some Steelers fans, is that he can't catch. Basically, all he does is shut down the #1 WR but doesn't create any turnovers. I'm fine with that and want Taylor on my team. With that written, Taylor had an awful first half. I think everyone expected Calvin Johnson, the best WR in the NFL, to make some catches against Ike. However, Taylor missed several tackles causing big plays to be even bigger.

- Early in the game, the Fox ticker showed that Chad Henne of Jacksonville was 2 for 2 for 71 yards and a TD. The ticker also showed Jags TE Mercedes Lewis as having 1 catch for 9 yards. I'd like to think I wasn't alone in wondering who had the other catch for the 62-yard TD.

- Detroit has an offensive lineman named LaAdrian Waddle. With a last name of Waddle, he probably knew as a child that he would play on the offensive line.

- Punter Mat McBriar redeemed himself in the second half, but is it too much to ask for a consistent punter? There has to be a member of the Colquitt family available somewhere.

- I think Fox went a little overboard with their "circle the player" graphic.

- The Steelers played Styx's Renegade twice. Has that ever happened before?

- I spent too much time biting my fingernails during the game. It's a terrible habit and can't be good for my teeth.

- The Steelers had multiple opportunities to score with the ball on Detroit's one-yard line. Did it ever occur to anyone to try a good old-fashioned QB sneak?

- With Festivus quickly approaching, we should all think about the final tradition of the Feats of Strength. I'd like everyone to try to emulate Ziggy Hood in his one-handed sack of Matthew Stafford.

- Does anyone know when the new Fox show Almost Human will debut?

- Did anyone else notice Calvin Johnson give up after Will Allen's interception? He made no effort in trying to tackle Allen.

- Finally, the Steelers are now 2-0 when they knew I was going to write a recap of the game.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bat Kid

If you happened to avoid any news on Friday or during the weekend, perhaps you missed the story of Bat Kid. I'll let AP explain:

Dressed in a black Batman costume, his fists clenched as he took on foe after foe around San Francisco, a 5-year-old boy who has battled leukemia for years fulfilled his wish Friday to be his favorite superhero.

In the process, Miles Scott became a darling of social media and attracted thousands of fans around the country, including the White House.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation and the city of San Francisco did amazing work in helping make a kid's dream come true. Check out the videos below. Please note that it might start getting a little dusty in the room.

Batkid from San Francisco Chronicle on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cortaca 2013

Today is a special day. Not only is it Talk Like a Pittsburgh Pirate Day, but it also the annual college football game between rivals Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland. I've written about the Cortaca game and the battle to win the Cortaca Jug many times over the years, so instead, I'm just going to provide some links about today's game below.

Here is a preview of the game courtesy of The Ithacan.

Here are your game notes from Cortland Athletics website.

The Ithaca Journal profiles IC coach Mike Welch & co-captain Will Carter.

The Ithacan profiles cousins Senior running back Rakim Jones and sophomore defensive lineman Tijah Henderson.

Finally, if you're in DC, watch the Cortaca game at Grand Central.

Go Bombers!

Update 11/17

Cortland defeated Ithaca 28-24. Boo. This is the recap by

Despite winning four straight games in this series, it seems like Cortland celebrated like this was the biggest win in school history. According to, about 30 people got arrested.

Actually, maybe Cortland students really needed to celebrate as the team's season is now over. Meanwhile, Ithaca advances to the D3 playoffs to host Framingham State next Saturday.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Talk Like A Pittsburgh Pirate Day

The writers, actors and everyone else associated with Parks & Recreation are brilliant. In the "Article Two" episode that aired on April 18th, the show featured this reference to Talk Like a Pittsburgh Pirate Day on November 16th:

It is extremely appropriate that the first celebration of Talk Like a Pittsburgh Pirate Day is talking place only two days after Andrew McCutchen won the National League MVP award. So on November 16th, go ahead and talk like McCutchen. Talk like Roberto Clemente. Talk like Bill Mazeroski. Talk like Willie Stargell. Talk like Bob Prince. Talk like Gerrit Cole or Pedro Alvarez or Starling Marte.

You can simply walk around saying No Doubt About It or Raise It while flashing folks the Zoltan sign.

Whatever you do, talk like a Pittsburgh Pirate!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Interview With Empty Netters' Seth Rorabaugh

I'm excited to introduce Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters in this latest installment of the Pittsburgh Sports Blogger Interview Series. Seth writes Empty Netters, a blog published on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's website, which is a must-read for any Pittsburgh Penguins or hockey fan. I think you'll enjoy this.

You're in a unique situation where you write a blog for a major newspaper. What is your background and how did you start working for the Post-Gazette? Were you hired specifically to write Empty Netters?

I started working at the Post-Gazette in the fall of 1998 as a freelancer. I was going to and living at Point Park College (now university) for a degree in journalism. One of my professors was a copy editor at the Post-Gazette and got me a job just answering phones on Friday nights for high school football. I did that for a year answering phones for all sorts of sports such as basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring. The next fall, I "graduated" to typing agate (i.e. box scores, standings, statistics, etc.). A year after that (fall of 2000), I was hired a full-time news assistant typing agate and other entry-level things. I did a little writing for high schools and small colleges throughout the years and started doing a little copy editing on the night desk for sports. In 2007, I started doing the blog in my spare time. Over time, it's has morphed into a full-time position.

The Post-Gazette credentials get you access to the Penguins and NHL teams and players that most bloggers don't have. Have there been interviews or people that you met that stand out either in a good way or a not-so-good way? Have you ever been star struck?

There have been a ton of interviews that stand out in good and bad sense. Easily the best for me personally was when Sidney Crosby was kind enough to give me an hour and a half one day during the lockout. We just sat in the bleachers at Southpoint and talked. I think part of it was that he didn't have anything else to do. Over the years, I've encountered lots of good and surprising interviews. In no particular order, Paul Bissonnette, Martin Brodeur, Steve Yzerman, Frans Nielsen, Bryce Salvador, Nicklas Lidstrom, Andy Murray, Brent Johnson, Matt Niskanen, Teemu Selanne, Ben Lovejoy, Mike Commdore, Andrew Ference, Toby Petersen, Ron Francis, Patrick Roy, Scott Hartnell, Jaromir Jagr are some that really stand out in a good way. For various reasons, John Tortorella, Erik Karlsson, Peter DeBoer, Patrik Elias, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand, Lindy Ruff, Adam Oates and Dwayne Roloson stand out as some of the worst. I will admit I still get a little star struck around the likes of Jagr or anyone of that era that I grew up watching. I'm really eager to interview Selanne again when the Ducks are in town next week. I still act professionally (or I hope I do) when I interview those players, but the seventh-grader in me is ecstatic when some of those players come around.

A 90-minute conversation with Sidney Crosby seems unreal. What all did you talk about? I sort of hope him living at Mario's house came up.

During the lockout, we (myself and other Penguins reporters) talked to Crosby and the other Penguins players working out down at Southpointe a lot. Under normal circumstances, a PR person will usually shuffle you away after 10-15 minutes. During the lockout, the players and team employees were not allowed to interact so we sort of had free reign on talking to these guys on and off the record. Most of them were really generous of their times and sometimes, I think they just had nothing else to do other than talk to us. Crosby was sort of in that boat. One day, I just asked him if he had a little bit of time for an interview. He said yes and we just sat in the stands and talked. After about 20 minutes, I asked if he needed go leave. He said no. I asked again after 40 minutes and he said no again. I published this Q&A and it turned out great in my opinion.

Not a question but a comment. I'm not at all surprised that John Tortorella made your list for worst interview subjects.

The shame about Tortorella is that he is very intelligent and has some tremendous insight into the game. There are occasional moments (I.E. non-game days) where he will hold court with reporters and answer all kinds of questions about the general state of the game. One time, I asked him about the art of "clearing the crease." And talked about how different it is today with the newer interference rules and gave a very detailed response. Sadly, he doesn't offer much on the day of game.

One of my favorite features of Empty Netters are the pictures taken of folks wearing hockey jerseys. How did you start taking game-day pictures? Do you ask people to pose for pictures or just roam around the arena taking action shots?

When I would "live" blog the home games in the first year or so of EN, I would attend as a fan then watch the game on my DVR and type up the play by play. I would add my notes I took from the game in person and link to photos of a players jersey I saw. So if I saw someone in a Janne Laukkanen jersey, I basically would do a Google image search for a Janne Laukkanen photo and link to that. Eventually, I joined the rest of humanity and bought a phone with a camera and started just taking the photos.

During hockey season, you write multiple lengthy posts per day with play-by-play coverage of every Pens games as well as sharing links from throughout the hockey world. Do you have any hobbies during the season besides following/writing about hockey?

I'm a big college football fan but as the season really kicks in, my time to watch that sport wanes. I also have a fantasy football league with some of my best friends from high school. I can only really indulge most of my hobbies in the summer. During those months, I swim and ride my bike as much as possible.

Is there ever a time like a February game against the Florida Panthers where you want to take a night off?

There are times in October that I feel that way. I love this sport, but trying to cover it, or at least cover it well, is a very time consuming endeavor. Unlike baseball, covering a night game takes up an entire day virtually. A morning skate starts at 10:30 a.m. You stick around the rink to cover both teams' skates until roughly 1:30 p.m. You can get home, do a little writing/research then you need to be back at the rink by 5 p.m. for a 7 p.m. start. Depending how late the game goes, you might not leave until midnight. When you work in sports in any capacity, you must understand you have to sacrifice a lot of your free time. I've skipped a lot of weddings, parties, family events etc., to cover the team.

I'm always amazed at how much I seem to learn about Penguins players and history by your posts. Would you consider yourself a Pens historian?

I like to think I have a good mind on Penguins history but anytime I'm around Penguins broadcaster Bob Grove or Webmaster Jim Kubus, I feel pretty inadequate in that area. They are the best Penguins historians around.

Has your work ever been featured in the print section of the Post-Gazette? Would you like your work to be published there?

I occasionally write for the paper if I happen across an interesting story or even a scoop. Most of my work is online and frankly, I'm much more comfortable writing for an online format than a print. Mainly, I enjoy the virtually unlimited space you can write with on line.

Can you explain your post on The Pensblog about three years ago where you asked readers to contact the Post-Gazette editors about Empty Netters? (At this point, I fully expect you to take off the microphone, declare that this interview is over and storm out.)

Sean, I'm under a non-disclosure agreement with my editors to not discuss that post on the Pensblog publicly. I can only reference my post on EN which followed it up. I appreciate your understanding on that.

Why the "great" Joe Vitale? He can never replace the great Mike Zigomanis!

A former Penguins writer for the Post-Gazette used to reference Dick Tarnstrom as "the great Dick Tarnstrom" in Q&A's with the readers. As a bit of a "tribute" to that writer, I started calling Mike Zigomanis "The great Mike Zigomanis" when he strung together a few good games. When he left, that "honor" fell onto Martin Skoula and eventually Joe Vitale. Vitale actually asked me about it once this season because he follows me on Twitter and I explained to him the lineage with Zigomanis and Skoula. A teammate was privy to the conversation and sarcastically said, "That's some great company Joe." Vitale calls me "The great Seth Rorabaugh" in return.

Finally, do you have any predictions about the Penguins, either as a team or for individual players this season?

I think they'll be one of the five best teams in the NHL this regular season. But the regular season hasn't really been their problem the last few years. It's the postseason. I usually hesitate to predict the postseason this time of year. So many things like trades or injuries can occur between now and then.

Thanks again to Seth to participating in my interview series. Make sure to check out Empty Netters everyday and follow Seth on Twitter @emptynetters.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Great Story, But I Can't Think of a Good Title

A friend recently posted on Facebook that she got into the wrong car after dropping her child off at school. This reminded me of something that happened to me when I was in 9th grade. Let's go back in time. Picture it: Sicily. 1927. Actually, Western Pennsylvania. 1989. I was close to a straight A student for much of junior high*, but 9th grade was different. I struggled picking up French, but the biggest challenge was Biology. The teacher (we'll call him Butch for his high school nickname that I'm sure he regretted revealing) was tough. Not a mean tough, but a challenging tough. By the end of the year, you were going to learn a lot about biology**, but you were going to have to work hard. This was probably the first time where I truly had to work hard in school.

At some point during the year, I missed several days of class, and the teacher allowed me to stay after school to catch up. I don't remember the exact project, but basically, you put two fruit flies in a test tube, wait for the magic to happen, and then see how many fruit flies were in the test tube each day. They multiply quickly. Anyway, it must have been a Friday and Butch asked me to put the fruit flies in his car (how trusting!) since the school may have turned the heat off over the weekend. I guess the fruit flies could only live at a certain temperature. I put the box of fruit flies in the trunk of the car, quickly made copies of all of his keys for a later heist and returned the keys.

On Monday, my teacher approached me to see where I put the fruit flies. I told him that I exchanged them for Penguins tickets. (I did not say this.) I learned later that I actually put the flies in one of the English teacher's trunk. The cars were completely different colors and models, but I guess that I wasn't listening closely when he told me the type of car. The keys he gave me opened the trunk, so I figured that I had the right car.

Meanwhile, I think the box of fruit flies stayed in the puzzled English teacher's car all weekend. I don't know if any of them survived.

* Since I don't have my report cards in front of me, I'm sticking with this story.

** I'll always remember that the DNA bonds are A & T and G & C or "At Gold Circle." Does anyone remember Gold Circle? They had an amazing toy section.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Trivia Tuesday

While I do not condone gun violence or the sometimes excessive use of guns in movies, that has nothing to do with Trivia Tuesday. Your challenge today is to name the films based on the pictures below.

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

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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Steelers-Bills Recap

Remember last month when I took the blame for the Steelers poor season since I didn't wear my Louis Lipps jersey consistently? Well, the Steelers lost to the Raiders while I wore my jersey, so clearly, you could no longer blame me for the Steelers losses. However, perhaps you really can blame me. It is now November 11th and this is my first Steelers recap of the season. Maybe the Steelers just needed to know that I was going to write recaps to motivate them.

Here are my thoughts on the game that you probably won't read anywhere else.

- The Buffalo Bills feature several former Pittsburgh Steelers, Kraig Urbik, Doug Legursky and Frank Summers. The team's punter, Brian Moorman, was also in the Steelers' training camp this summer. While it appears that Buffalo has become Pittsburgh North, I didn't notice former University of Pittsburgh players Ruben Brown or Alex Van Pelt on the sideline.

- You see the date of this post, right? We're still at least six weeks from Christmas and about three weeks from Thanksgiving. We don't need Christmas commercials yet, Mercedes, Home Depot & Wal-Mart!

- Steelers punter Mat McBriar had five punts for an average of only 39 yards and an average net of only 34.9 yards. What did Daniel Sepulveda do to not get a try-out?

- Jerricho Cotchery was only targeted twice, but he made both catches for 31 yards and a great move on a TD catch. Cotchery has looked better than Sanders lately and has been a solid and valuable contributor to the team. While it probably makes sense for the Steelers to get rookie WR Markus Wheaton more playing time, I feel so much more comfortable with Cotchery on the field.

- Congratulations to Jarvis Jones on getting his first NFL sack! I'm sure that convinced the Subway execs that they made the right call in having Jones appear on their commercials.

- CBS is going to show a three-episode Person of Interest. Wouldn't that make it People of Interest?

- Overall, the Steelers defense played great. They gave up a field goal after the Bills started a drive on the Steelers 29 yard line. The Bills scored their touchdown on the last play of the game when the game was decided. By the way, the Bills didn't even deserve to score. Bills' QB E.J. Manuel should have been flagged for intentional grounding, but instead the ruling was a fumble that got overturned and the Steelers got a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. Plus, Bills' tight end Chris Gragg also moved early on the 4th down TD catch. Yes, I started the Steelers defense for several fantasy teams and am a little bitter that the team gave up 10 points instead of 3.

- Oh, message to Chris Gragg. You look ridiculous celebrating and pointing to the sky after catching a touchdown to make the score 23-9 with your team losing with 3 seconds left.

- Can someone explain the rumor that Roethlisberger wants to get traded. Here is the conversation between announcers and Marv Albert and Rich Gannon.

Albert - "As a key member of the media, as a guy who tweets, all you have to do is put out a tweet"
Gannon - "and it catches fire"
Albert - "and it's everywhere and we react to it and the teams react to it whether it is true or not."

So what media member put out the Tweet? Shouldn't we (or CBS) contact this media member and ask him/her for the source or to explain the story?

- Why did the Steelers cut Jonathan Dwyer again? All he did was have 6 carries for 38 yards in a supporting role.

For more on the Steelers game, check out the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, ESPN & Behind The Steel Curtain. (Yes, there's two links there for BTSC.)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Links

With this post, I'm now a third of the way through National Blog Posting Month ("NaBloPoMo"). I hope that you're enjoying reading my posts on a daily basis. Here are some other links for you to check out.

I'm not the only Pittsburgh blogger participating in NaBloPoMo. [NaBloPoMo Pittsburgh Tumblr]

Congrats to Emily on her big news and announcement. [Emily Levenson]

Jeff Reed is on Twitter! [That's Church]

I found this video amusing.

h/t Deadspin

This Russian Steelers fan is just looking for a Nate Washington jersey. [PSAMP]

Here's some fun Hollywood stuff. George Clooney is a year older than Wilford Brimley was when Cocoon was released. [Vulture]

Great piece by Tim Williams about how to become a professional blogger. [Pirates Prospects]

The end of Josh's Yaris. [Ngewo's World]

If you're looking for a travel agent, please contact my friend Paul. (Paul really is my friend and is someone I have known for years.) [Cusker Vacation Connection]

Finally, since I posted a cat video above, here is a fun dog video.

h/t Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Why Is Selena Gomez Singing About Mr. T?

Please watch this video for Selena Gomez's latest song, Slow Down. Actually, you don't even need to watch the entire video, just go to the 15 second mark and tell me what you think Gomez sings. I'll wait.

To me, it sounds like the lyrics are "Mr. T said I am ready for inspection." While I'm sure that Gomez didn't actually write this song, it seems odd to me that there would be a line referencing the 1980s pop culture icon. She and most of her fans probably don't even know Mr. T. Besides, when would Mr. T ever say that someone is ready for inspection? Wouldn't he just say that he pities the fool?

While I now realize that I misunderstood the line, I think I like my Mr. T version better!

Friday, November 08, 2013

My Nightly Battle

For the past few months, my evenings are similar regardless if it is during the week or the weekend. With the exception of this past weekend when I was out of town, the twice a month trivia nights and the monthly soccer games I work as a referee, I have the same routine.

1. Put my son to bed between 8:15 and 8:45.

2. Feed Ziggy.

3. Gather the trash and recycling/clean the litter box/take out the trash. (Twice a week)

4. Sit on the couch for some valuable me time consisting of watching TV/shows on the DVR and spending time on the computer including writing these amazing blog posts.

However, I end up falling asleep on the couch probably 75% of the time. Actually, that number may be low. Most nights, I'll wake up with Jimmy Kimmel, Nightline or Everybody Loves Raymond on TV. It used to be worse when I'd wake up to Rules of Engagement, so I'd like to thank the DC-area ABC affiliate, WJLA, for stopping to air that show in syndication. It's at this point that I should just go straight from the couch to my bed but some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck. Some nights I call it a draw. No that's not right. Some nights I decide that I haven't finished writing my blog post or that I need to study the fantasy football waiver wire. There's always something I could have missed on Facebook or Twitter or I need to find out if the Pittsburgh Penguins won. (On Wednesday night I fell asleep near the end of 2nd period of the Penguins-Rangers game. When I woke up, the game was over.)

Therefore, I end up sleeping on the couch from anywhere between 1-3 hours, being awake for 30-90 minutes (or more on weekends since I can "sleep in" the following morning) and then sleeping in my bed for about 4-6 hours. This can't be good, right? This cycle must be contributing to my constant tiredness every night.

* I have no idea why Zach Galifianakis is associated with this quote.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Found In My Basement: Jason Kendall

When my son was born, we were fortunate to have friends with older boys who were extremely generous and happy to give us clothes and toys that their kids had outgrown. One of the items we received was the Baseball A B C book. As you can see below, the cover includes pictures of a signed Babe Ruth baseball, a glove, a bat, a Boston Red Sox hat, one of the oldest Major League Baseball franchises, and Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jason Kendall.

While I was a big fan of Kendall, a three-time All Star and very good player, I feel like one of these things is not like the other.

The book published in 2001 includes pictures of other players from this era such as Sammy Sosa under A (for All Star), Ray Durham and Ken Griffey Jr. for B (bunt and batter respectively), Alex Rodriguez for E (ear flap), Randy Johnson for J (jacket) and P (pitcher), Pedro Martinez for R (righthander), Frank Thomas for O (on deck; was Thomas particularly known for being on deck more than other hitters?), and Cal Ripken for T (third base; I know he played third base at the end of his career but Ripken will always be known as a shortstop).

While it was nice to find Jason Kendall in my basement, he and the book are ready to move out of the basement.

Feel free to click here for more items Found In My Basement.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Gun Violence & Gun Control

This is a rare serious post which only happens about twice a year, so if you want to read something more humorous or, well, random, stay tuned for whatever I write tomorrow.

The two major news events over the past few days have been the shooting of a TSA agent at LAX airport and the chaos at a New Jersey mall where a gunman fired shots before committing suicide. This is only a several weeks after 12 people were killed at the D.C. Navy Yard. At what point do we as a country say that's enough? After Columbine, Virginia Tech or Newtown, you would think something would happen. Yet, any local newscast seems to include at least one story about someone getting shot, and there seems to be no indication that Congress or the President will push for any type of gun legislation.

Before you accuse me of being a liberal, which may be true, or claim that I'm being naïve, I should share some background. My school district growing up had the Monday after Thanksgiving as a holiday for the first day of hunting season. My high school also had a rifle team that was one of the best in Pennsylvania. Of course, there was also a shooting at my high school during my senior year. What could have had a major impact in my life is simply a footnote and something that I tell people about when they say that they went to a rough high school.

Basically, I'm not for taking people's guns. If you want a gun for self-defense or hunting, fine. (Now the type of weapons may be a different conversation.) However, I believe that we should have a gun registry and definitely background checks. It seems silly to me that you need a license to drive a car (which I support) but you don't need one to own a gun.

I should also mention that I pass the NRA headquarters almost everyday. The NRA really could be a leader in proposing legislation to help curb gun violence, but that will never happen.

I don't really have a conclusion, so I guess I'll just stop here. Um, go Steelers!

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

What American Accent Do You Have?

I'm not sure whether or not this counts as Trivia Tuesday, but regardless this is a fun little quiz to determine your American accent. Please note that the Pittsburgh accent is not one of the final results.

In case you are wondering, this is my score:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: North Central
"North Central" is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw "Fargo" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.
The West
The Midland
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast

This makes no sense to me. I don't think anyone has mistaken me for Canadian, eh. I thought the characters in "Fargo" sounded out of the ordinary. I only heard of "Uff Da" when I visited Minnesota as part of my 2007 hockey road trip.

Take the quiz yourself here and share your results in the comments section below.

The actual percentages for me are as follows:

North Central - 88%
The West - 84%
The Midland - 83%
Boston - 62%
The Inland North - 41%
The South - 34%
Philadelphia - 22%

Monday, November 04, 2013

Did You Know?

In the nearly 9 years of writing Sean's Ramblings, I've shared a lot about myself and probably more than you wanted to know. (For proof, feel free to read any TMI Thursday posts.) Today, I wanted to share more things that you may not know about me. There's a chance I've shared some of this information before, but cut me some slack since I've written over 2,300 posts.

- My first job after earning a graduate degree was working at a Repo company.

- My second job after earning a graduate degree was demonstrating a Harry Potter board game at Springfield Mall.

- I was on my high school's diving team.

- I finished second in the high school balloting for class clown.

- My wedding was officiated by the father of a member of Rusted Root.

- I performed in two musicals in high school and even had a solo (for two lines). I believe that both musicals won the Gene Kelly Award for best Pittsburgh area high school musical.

- I was featured in a article about fantasy football.

- In my final high school soccer game, I scored my first high school goal.

-I'm pretty sure I freaked out former California Governor Gray Davis. When I lived in San Diego, I had a bad day when my e-mail account was deleted. In a bad mood, I came across Gray Davis who walking towards a stage as he was preparing to give a speech. Probably not in the nicest tone, I said, "Hey Gray. How are you?" He sheepishly nodded and waved.

- I don't spend much money on clothes. If I won the lottery and had millions of dollars, I still probably wouldn't spend more than $25 on a shirt.

- I think I would be a great candidate to appear on a fashion make-over show.

- I don't own an iPod or MP3 player and have never downloaded any music.

- I would love to write a book someday.

- I have never watched Duck Dynasty or The Amazing Race.

- I have been in the same fantasy baseball league since 1992. I have never won this league.

- I've turned into a morning person. I don't remember the last time I was out past 10:00.

I'm sure that there is a lot that I'm missing, so you'll have to stay tuned to see what I share in the future!

Sunday, November 03, 2013


If you were to compile a list of the most successful artists of the past ten years, OneRepublic would likely not be a band that you think about. Sure, Apologize with assistance from Timbaland was a monster hit (so much so that I got the phrase "it's too late to order fries" stuck in my head), but OneRepublic seems like just another band that will always have their songs played on VH1 and Adult Contemporary radio stations. However, if you look a little closer, OneRepublic seems to crank out hit after hit with their latest song, Counting Stars, being their biggest song since Apologize. While I don't understand the video, I really, really like this song. Enjoy!

Of course, it certainly helps that lead singer Ryan Tedder is one of the best and most prolific songwriters today.

Saturday, November 02, 2013


It's a college football Saturday, and I'm showing my commitment to NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) by posting again today.

Ohio State's marching band is amazing. There's a reason they are called The Best Dam Band In The Land. This video from last Saturday is another reason.

It's really easy to forget that those are actual people on the field!

Friday, November 01, 2013

National Blog Posting Month

You may have noticed that I don't update Sean's Ramblings nearly as often as I used to. I could share a variety of excuses, but really, it's President Obama's fault.

I decided that it was time to get back to my blogging roots. Therefore, you will see more blog posts about Kevin Pittsnogle and California Tortilla. Actually, you will see me posting much more often. I signed up to participate in National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo, through BlogHer. Yes, BlogHer is not a typo. The person who runs the BlogHer Twitter account told me it was okay.

There's your proof! Anyway, my goal is to post every day in November. I plan on having another post or two for the Pittsburgh Sports Blogger Interview Series. I also want to bring back the Found In My Basement Series. If you have any ideas for what I should post, please let me know.