Monday, March 31, 2014

Opening Day 1988 (Found in My Basement)

Since today is opening day for most of Major League Baseball, I thought now would be the perfect time to share this 1988 Pittsburgh Pirates Official Magazine and Scorecard from the Pirates home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies that I attended on April 11, 1988.

Why yes that is 1987 National League Rookie Pitcher-of-the-Year Mike Dunne on the cover.

The Pirates starting line-up on this day was:

LF Barry Bonds
2B Jose Lind
CF Andy Van Slyke
3B Bobby Bonilla
1B Sid Bream
RF R.J. Reynolds
C Mike LaValliere
SS Al Pedrique
P Doug Drabek

While Bonds hit a home run and the Pirates won, what I remember most about the game (box score here) was the incredible performance by the legendary Vicente Palacios. In the top of the 6th, the Phillies loaded the bases with no outs against Drabek. Jim Leyland brought in Palacios who retired the next three batters without allowing a run. Three Rivers Stadium was rocking!

Now, the fun part. Check out some of the pictures and ads from the scorebook.

I wish I owned that Starter jacket.

I really liked John Saunders.

A car phone for less than $20 a month? What a deal!

I'm pretty sure I have the exact same sweater today that Mike Diaz wore more than 15 years ago.

Are Quinn and Banana selling popcorn at PNC Park today? (Sorry, that was mean. I spent many, many mornings listening to B-94 and regularly tried to win cases of pop on Thirsty Thursdays.)

Let's Go Bucs!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Rap On The Radio

There's a radio station in DC with the tag line, Today's best hits, without the rap. My question is, in 2014, what is the problem with playing rap on the radio? Look, no one expects this station to abandon its current play list of Katy Perry, Maroon 5, OneRepublic, Bruno Mars and Lorde and start playing Wu-Tang Clan and Odd Future. (You didn't expect an Odd Future reference from me, did you?) However, would the audience revolt and the universe explode if the station included the Juicy J portion of Katy Perry's Dark Horse? Are they worried about losing sponsors if they played Same Love by Macklemore?

Meanwhile, one of this station's competitors (who plays virtually the exact same songs) recently changed its tag line to All the Hits and are slowly figuring out this rap thing. Although they also seem to be against Juicy J too, this station is okay playing the T.I. portion of Blurred Lines and Ludacris' rap in an Enrique Iglesias song. They also play Drake's Hold On We're Going Home since Drake sings rather than raps on this song, so I guess that makes it okay.

Any thoughts on this or am I simply listening to the radio too much during the day?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday

My son turns three this week, so I thought I would write him a message in case he reads this blog when he gets older and wants to know what he was like as a toddler.

Happy 3rd Birthday, (name redacted)! It's been quite an exciting three years! It seems like only yesterday when you were 2 and 364 days. Now you are 3.

You are loving, give great hugs and have an amazing smile.

You are Daddy's little boy and share many of my mannerisms and demeanor.

You are quiet, shy and very cautious in large groups or when you are around unfamiliar people. That's not a bad thing. However, when you are home or at school, you are generally happy, social, and talkative, even if I don't understand half of what you say.

You like your new big boy bed though you have not entirely grasped sleeping under the covers and prefer to lay on top of the covers. You also haven't mastered sleeping through the night or sleeping in to a reasonable time in the morning like you did in the crib.

You are persistent. I'm not sure if this is testing boundaries, or you just want to get what you want and don't want to wait for it. For example, you will ask for milk and even if we reply that we'll get it soon, you will continue to ask for milk. On a related topic, your favorite words seem to be again, more and sit. (Yes, I'm going to sit next to your bed when you go to sleep just like I did the night before. And yes, there's a good chance that I will also fall asleep on your floor.)

You are obsessed with Thomas & Friends. Yes, I've written this before, but this hasn't changed.

You enjoy school and particularly adore one of your teachers.

You also love your "girlfriend" who you have been together at daycare or preschool since you were only five months old.

While you get a diverse menu at school, your favorite foods are pasta, pizza, french fries, hummus and applesauce. Cheerios (or "Cheetos") are also a big hit. Passover could be tough in a few weeks.

You enjoy hearing Mommy and Daddy sing (even if Daddy sings rather poorly) and you'll often sing your own songs. When you learn a new song a school, it's often fun trying to figure out what song you're singing. (Miss Mary Mack was the latest tune.)

You also still like books. I hope you always do since reading is great.

You're not really into sports yet as you would much ride your car when you go outside than play with a ball.

Most importantly, even though you have no idea how your life is going to change in the next few weeks, you are going to be a terrific big brother.

Happy Birthday! We love you!

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Back in the early days of Sean's Ramblings, I wrote several posts complaining about good television shows or sporting events featuring Pittsburgh teams airing at the same time. Each time I wrote one of these posts, I received comments that I should get a DVR. They were right. Besides electricity, the DVR may be the greatest invention of all time. These days, with the exception of sports, it's rare that I ever watch live television. Unfortunately, I'm way behind in my DVR-viewing, and it shows that the DVR is only 14% free. I need to remedy this quickly, although the pending arrival of a new child will make this difficult. Challenge accepted! Let's take a look at what's filling up my DVR.

- Season 2 (12 episodes) of Homeland

I recorded this during a free preview of Showtime. I haven't seen season 1 yet, so these episodes just sit on the DVR until I get Netflix or hope that there's another Showtime preview that airs the entire first season of Homeland.

- 24 episodes of The Middle

I saved all these episodes since this is a show that my wife and I used to watch together. She is no longer interested in watching this show. I'm so far behind, that a recent episode I watched showed commercials for future ABC shows Zero Hour and How to Live With Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life. Both of these shows have been cancelled for nearly a year!

- 8 episodes of Modern Family
- 5 episodes of Archer

- Season 1 of Game of Thrones

I had a recent conversation with a friend where he said that he watched the first season thanks to a free preview of HBO. I replied that I missed out on recording the shows. Guess what? I didn't miss out. I just completely forgot they were there.

- Nancy & Tonya

I wonder if in this version of the retelling of the figure skating drama, Nancy Kerrigan arranges to have someone attack Tonya Harding.

- The Bro Mitzvah episode of How I Met Your Mother and a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode with Bill Buckner. Two excellent episodes that I didn't want to delete.

- A Jeopardy! episode featuring a good friend of mine. I should probably delete this, but how often do I get to see Alex Trebek giving my friend a nickname?

- Multiple episodes of Little Einsteins, Thomas & Friends and Dinosaur Train.

Best used during snow days. Plus, I'm so happy that there are now shows other than Little Einsteins that my son will watch.

During every free preview of HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, etc., I record movies. For example, I recorded the Academy Award-winning The King's January 2012! Maybe it's time to watch it.

Other movies on the to-see list include:

Zero Dark Thirty
Wreck-It Ralph
Life of Pi

I've got work to do!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Checkout Lanes Are Evil

Did you hear about the recent altercation that occurred outside of a Wichita Walmart?

Wichita police say a 36-year-old man became frustrated with the self checkout and began cussing at the machine.

It angered another man inside, and it turned into a verbal argument.

The fight spilled out into the parking lot where another man joined and some derogatory names were used.

“When they left the store, the upset individual struck the cussing individual in the face,” said Capt. Doug Nolte, Wichita Police Department.

The 36-year-old man suffered a broken tooth.

Police are still looking for the two suspects who left the scene.

You may find this outrageous, but there's something about checkout lines, particularly self checkouts, that stir people's emotions.

While I usually shop at Wegmans, I occasionally go to a grocery store that rhymes with Mafepay to pick up a few sale items. Despite going to this store on Friday evening or Saturday morning, times when there are plenty of customers, Safeway Mafepay usually only has two checkout lanes open. It seems that the store really wants people to use one of the 6 self checkout lanes. This is a problem. There always seems to be at least one broken scanner. Plus, there is rarely a consensus about whether there is one line for all self checkout lanes or three separate lines for the three separate rows. There's usually someone buying alcohol or medicine, so you have to wait for the one employee to check IDs.

Once you get to the register, an item won't always scan. You might stand there attempting to scan an item three or four times. Then, the machine wants you to place the item in the "baggage area." No, I don't want to put the 20-pound container of cat litter in the miniature baggage area.

Of course, the worst people in the world are those that have 15 items for the 7 items or less aisles. I don't think I've ever shared this story before, but on the night that I proposed, I went to Target to pick up a few items including votive candles. My plan was to light candles around the apartment and place rose petals on the floor. Maybe I was inspired by Coming To America.

Anyway, I was running later than I planned and found myself in what I thought was the express checkout lane. I quickly discovered that the people in front of me had significantly more items than 7 or less. I was livid. Fortunately, I didn't do anything, or you may have heard about an altercation that occurred at a Fairfax Target involving a single guy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Return of Sean Analyzing Song Lyrics

Since I refuse to write about snow, I thought I would share some thoughts about current songs. Enjoy!

Aloe Blacc - The Man

You can tell everybody
Yeah you can tell everybody
Go ahead and tell everybody
I'm the man, I'm the man, I'm the man

That's a little arrogant, now isn't it, Aloe? And what makes you think people want to go around telling people you're the man? What would happen if Aloe approached you about this at a party?

Aloe: Hey Sean.
Sean: Hello.
Aloe: Go ahead and tell everybody I'm the man.
Sean: Um, yeah, I'll get right on that.

Katy Perry - Roar

I've got the eye of the tiger.

Katy Perry - Dark Horse

Cause I'm coming at you like a dark horse.

Someone visited the farm and zoo while writing their latest album. Either that or read a lot of kids books.

The Juicy J portion of Dark Horse

She's a beast.
I call her Karma.
She eats your heart out
Like Jeffrey Dahmer.

I'll take 20 year-old references that most fans of this song won't understand for $400, Alex.

Pharrell Williams - Happy

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.

This is a good thing? Won't you get wet when it rains and cold when it snows?

That concludes the latest edition of Sean analyzing song lyrics.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Ziggy Goes To Jacksonville

It is a sad day here at Ramblings headquarters. After five years, Ziggy is taking his talents to North Florida. We had really high hopes for Ziggy as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but unfortunately, he didn't live up to expectations. Despite signing a 4-year contract in Jacksonville, it looks like I'm not going to get a cent (just like when he was first drafted). Oh well.

At least this Ziggy is taking everything is stride.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Penguins Fans' Smithsonian Celebration

Living in the Washington DC area, it's always enjoyable when the Pittsburgh Penguins defeat the Washington Capitals. I've written about this several times over the years, but I've had great experiences going to Pens-Caps games at the Verizon Center where the crowd has been evenly split between fans of both teams. As the Caps became a regular playoff team over the past 6-7 years, tickets to these games became more expensive and difficult to get. Even though I personally haven't been to one of these games recently, plenty of Penguins fans still go. Here's a video from Monday night in what has become a really cool tradition, Penguins fans storming the stairs of the Smithsonian American Art Museum after a victory.

Now, check out the guy in the Pens' Fleury jersey around the :25 second mark. Why does he remove the jersey to reveal a Capitals sweatshirt? Did he lose a bet? Who is he? What's his story?

Here are some recaps of the back-to-back Penguins wins over the Caps.

h/t The Pensblog

Friday, March 07, 2014

The Next Edgar Snyder? (Friday Video)

Edgar Snyder is arguably the best known lawyer in Pittsburgh. I remember seeing his commercials constantly growing up (391-2101. 391-2101!), and when I visited Pittsburgh last summer, I saw his billboards everywhere. Daniel Muessig seems like he wants to be the next Edgar Snyder. Although Muessing is a criminal defense attorney while Snyder focuses on personal injuries, they both know the power of media. Check out Muessig's video:

He actually reminds me of Breaking Bad's Saul Goodman. Not sure he really needed the Jewish thing at the end, but I guess some people really want to have a Jewish lawyer.

Muessig appears to be a young, rather new lawyer and is trying to make a splash. However, Edgar Snyder is a friend of mine,* but Dan Muessig, you are no Edgar Snyder.

* This is not true although I once held a contest run by Edgar Snyder, and I know that he has visited my blog.

h/t Deadspin

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

2014 Celebrate Fairfax Headliners

Although there's plenty of snow on the ground, summer will be here in no time. While many people consider Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start of summer, since I moved to Northern Virginia, my summer truly begins with Celebrate Fairfax. Northern Virginia's largest festival released its headlines for 2014, and I'm happy to share the line-up here.

Friday, June 6: The All-American Rejects (8:00 PM)

Saturday, June 7: Cheap Trick (8:00 PM)

Sunday, June 8: The Hunts (4:30 PM)

I recently heard an All-American Rejects song on the radio and thought that they would be a great fit for Celebrate Fairfax. Apparently, the festival staff read my mind! The band had a string of hits in the mid-2000s, but they are young enough that new songs could still be relevant today. Here are my favorite All-American Rejects songs:

I saw Cheap Trick open for Poison and Def Leppard about five years ago and was surprised that they were an opening act. When I wrote that The All-American Rejects had a string of hits, Cheap Trick has some MONSTER hits. Plus, the band was referenced in a couple episodes of The Simpsons back when folks actually watched The Simpsons. (There's a line where Homer says that "I'd rather listen to Cheap Trick," but I couldn't find the video online.)

Finally, I know nothing about The Hunts except that their ketchup is inferior to Heinz. Maybe that's because they focus on music rather than ketchup. At least according to the YouTube comments, this song is used in a Milk Bone commercial.

Super Early Bird tickets for Celebrate Fairfax go on sale on April 1 (the early bird period is April 1-10), with adult tickets for only $7 (vs. $15 at the gate). Please let me know where you can see The All-American Rejects or Cheap Trick for only $7. The Combo Tickets (including rides) are only $25 for adults and $22 for kids during the Super Early Bird as well.

For tickets or more information about the festival, check out the Celebrate Fairfax website.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Manic Sunday

As I'm typing this on Sunday evening, the Federal Government and every school in the DC area announced that they are closed on Monday even though it is calm outside right now. With the pending ice and snowstorm, Sunday was its usual pre-panic day around here. Although we were already stocked up toilet paper, milk and BBQ Fritos, I decided that I needed to run a few errands. Therefore, I took my son for a trip around Northern Virginia.

Stop 1: My office. Figuring that the office would be closed Monday, I needed to pick up some work to do from home. A successful trip except that right as I was leaving, I thought that maybe I should check on my son's diaper before we went back into the car.

Me: Do you have a poop?

Him: Yes

The answer to this question is generally no even when he has a dirty diaper. Sure enough, I needed to change the diaper, and of course, there are no changing tables in the building's restrooms. Not a big deal, but I hope that someone empties the trash in the men's restroom before Tuesday morning.

Stop 2: The bank. Sure, the bank is closed on Sundays, but the ATM was open. I needed to deposit some checks and wanted to make sure that the checks cleared ASAP. Naturally, the ATM rejected one of the checks twice before it finally worked.

Stop 3: The gas station. Disaster. I've seen news footage of gas shortages from the late 1970s. I waited in a line for way too long only to get to a pump that moved slower than Casey Hampton in a 5K race.

Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for everyone else, it was just my pump (Station? Bay? I don't know the proper term for this) that moved slowly. Three cars filled up and left before I finally gave up after reaching 9 gallons.

So now, I'll wait for the snow and get ready to start shoveling.