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Sean's Ramblings



Thoughts and comments by a guy named Sean.



Updated: 2018-02-25T07:05:30.594-05:00

 



Friday Video: One Foot

2018-02-23T12:14:08.080-05:00

You remember Walk The Moon, right? They had the monster hit "Shut Up and Dance" a few years ago. They also have a great song "Anna Sun" from their first album. Well, Walk the Moon is back with their third album.

Here is their first song from the new album, One Foot:

width="440" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/05v4nfUmBYI" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen>

I don't really get the video, but I dig this song. Plus, I'm always for having "They can't flex with us" as part of the lyrics!



The Zone, The Anthem, & More (Random Ramblings)

2018-02-20T11:12:44.722-05:00

To celebrate Presidents' Day, I had the opportunity to take The Moose (age 6) and Pedro Tulo (age 3) to The Zone in Ashburn. I saw that The Zone tweeted this prior to the event:We are gearing up to host the areas top MOM BLOGGERS at @theZoneUSA tomorrow! #VIPBloggerEvent #Loudounstation #TheZoneUSA pic.twitter.com/WoN2mtQzaD— the Zone (@theZoneUSA) February 19, 2018 I truly am honored to be part of the area's top MOM BLOGGERS! Anyway, The Zone is like Dave & Busters but on a smaller scale. They have plenty of video games and good food (more on this momentarily), but unlike Dave and Busters, The Zone has four bowling lanes, laser tag, and a virtual reality area. My kids were a little young for these activities (though the staff was gracious enough to let them try on the VR gear), so we mostly played air hockey, Space Invaders, and Skee-Ball. This is Pedro Tulo from when he was about 1 & 1/2.This is Pedro Tulo from Monday at almost 4.I hope I don't take another picture like this when he's 6 or 7.The food was definitely a highlight for the boys. The Moose went to town enjoying pizza, chicken fingers, sliders, fries, and a cookie. Pedro Tulo only seemed to want fruit (and a cookie, of course). I'll go back, though it may be when they are a little older when they can enjoy all of the games and activities available.Thanks to The Zone and Andrea of Northern Virginia Housewives for hosting us!- While The Moose seems to doing well reading at school, he has little interest in doing this at home. It's been a battle the last few weeks trying to get him to read to us. Any suggestions on how to make this situation better for everyone? It has been really frustrating for all of us.- On Sunday, I visited The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in DC and saw the flag which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star-Spangled Banner. On Sunday night nearly 200 years after he wrote the famous lyrics, Fergie had a, well, interesting version of the tune. width="440" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/V5cOvyDpWfM" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen>U-S-A! U-S-A!- Your TMI for the day. After getting a vasectomy a few months ago, it's now official. My boys can, um, no longer swim.- Ziggy knocked the Brita off of the counter causing the water pitcher to crack. I guess it's time to get a new one.- Finally, one of the worst things about my dislocated wrist is that I can't bite the fingernails on my right hand. I know that biting your nails is a terrible habit, but there a way worse vices. (I'll stick with this as a rationale.)[...]



Interview With Shannon Gregg

2018-02-15T11:27:32.039-05:00

Writing a book is tough. I mean, I don't know from experience, but this is something I would love to do someday. Therefore, anytime a friend writes a book, I want to support them (see below). Shannon Gregg and I graduated together from high school, um, several years ago and also performed together in Lil' Abner. Shannon is a Trainer, Speaker, and Sales Productivity Expert and recently wrote It's About Time: How to Do More of What Matters in the Time You Have for professionals of all career levels with Shawn McBride. As Shannon wrote on her website, "This book will benefit you and dramatically transform your approach to productivity and time management.  Written based off of years of experience at hustling time, the information in this book was provided by absolute experts who have launched businesses, had full-time families and careers, and have found ways to achieve and surpassed their goals by focusing on total time management."Shannon was gracious enough to take some time (see what I did there?) to answer a few questions.Can you tell me (and everyone reading this) about the book?For sure!  For starters - it's short.  Intentionally.  If you're reading a book about time management, it's not because you have leisurely time to spend on things like reading!  I co-authored the book with R. Shawn McBride, whom I met when we were booked to speak at a large radio convention together.  We brought our perspectives on managing time, based on running full time jobs and side hustles, together to give a simple, based-on-you approach to time management. While I'm sure this is in the book, what is the best way you have found for yourself to manage your time?The book is really you-based, so it's not prescriptive on how to manage time based on mine or Shawn's best practices - but man, I could NOT live without Google calendar!  Everything goes in it - dinner with friends, Luke's bike trips, mom jazz dance class on Sunday nights - so I know at all times where I am supposed to be.  Those blank spaces, I fill them on up (I've got a blank space, baby, and I'll write...something to do in it).  Denis Waitley has a quote that basically asks you to consider whether your activities are tension-relieving or goal-achieving, and I mentally categorize those things to make sure that they are in some sort of balance for me.What advice and best practices do you have regarding time management and productivity for someone (um, like me) with a new child?Sean, it's almost as if I asked you to ask this question (I didn't!).  This is the number one issue that people are asking Shawn and I about: time management as a working parent.  We are working on a publication for 2018 to address exactly that!  But, my advice to parents is first psychological:  lose the guilt.  Lose it.  We live in an era of insta-fabulousness, where all parents seem to have it together and are pinteresting the best memories for their kids and making Tate Museum-quality art sandwiches, and the "mompetition" of it all will make you lose your mind.  Stop it.  Give yourself permission to spend some time on yourself!  That seems to be the toughest part for parents trying to juggle their personal and professional time.   How did our time at Junior Achievement in high school help you with the book?YES!  I refer to JA all of the time, Sean!  In working with salespeople, I am always looking for ways for them to be efficient so that they can sell more in less time by being process-driven and scalable, and that is DEFINITELY thanks to those assembly line cookie sheets we made.  No joke.  When I first learned Six Sigma, I was the only one in the room laughing when I said, "Ohhhhh, so JA for working adults."  YES.  I think I need to actually write a check to Junior Achievement right now.  BRB. Are you concerned that people will confuse your book with the 2005 book, It's About Time?Well, it was definitely something we considered when we were finalizing the name of the book.  It's a pretty common combination of words [...]



Annyeong Haseyo! (That's Hello in Korean)

2018-02-12T11:55:26.326-05:00

As you may have read (and read again), I'm not quite 100% right now. Therefore, I'm excited that several friends have been willing to write some guest posts. I've known Christine since our first year in college, um, several years ago, and over about an 18-month period, she chronicled her experience living in South Korea. You see where I'm going here with the Winter Olympics being in Pyeongchang, right? Here's Christine:With the start of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, I’ve found myself feeling a bit “homesick” for Seoul. For one military assignment, our family spent a great year and a half exploring South Korea, enjoying the food, and falling in love with the culture. I visited museums and palaces, attended markets and festivals, and attended many different concerts (who’s up for some K-Pop, Pansori, or Korean heavy metal?). It is a country that embraces tradition while moving full steam into the future, having rebuilt itself after the horrible conflict with the north. We are always asked if we felt safe there - my answer: it’s the safest place I’ve ever lived, with little crime and welcoming people.When Sean asked me to write a guest blog post, I happily dusted off my keyboard and revisited my Korea blog for some inspiration. One post that immediately came to mind was our visit to the 1998 Summer Olympics site in Seoul - you can check out all of the pictures here (there are a bunch).Knowing how the Koreans have revamped that space into a bustling part of the city and event venue, I’m sure they will make great use of the new site in the future. I did actually get to visit Pyeongchang for a snow tubing festival ahead of the games - even in 2015, preparations were well underway and the Koreans were gearing up for the games. If they ever add a snow tubing event at the Olympics, I am ready to represent! Watching the opening ceremonies brought back many memories, including my classes in Korean drumming. The large opening number featured women dressed in white playing in unison on the janggu. It is a Korean, hourglass-shaped drum, and I brought one back to the states with me. As a music teacher, it was fun learning a new instrument and we got to wear the traditional colored dress for our concert. The five children featured throughout the opening ceremony wore those colors: red for fire, blue for wood, yellow for earth, white for metal, and black for water.Nostalgia also had me visiting the local Korean market to stock up on some favorite items. We LOVE eating Korean food, although we tend toward the less spicy end of the spectrum. If it’s red - beware! If I could have my own Korean BBQ grill inside the house at all times, I’d be a happy girl. One website I use for Korean recipes is written by Maangchi:  www.maangchi.comSome of our favorites for you to consider trying:Bibimbap (비빔밥) - rice mixed with vegetables, meat, egg, and chili pepper pasteJjajangmyeon (짜장면) - noodles with black bean sauceSamgyetang (삼계탕) - ginseng chicken soupHotteok (호떡) - sweet pancakes filled with brown sugar (Sean's note: This sounds delicious!)So for the next few weeks, you can most likely find me watching all of the events in Pyeongchang with a milkis in hand (yes, milk flavored soda - so good!), cheering on our US athletes and smiling at all of the things that make Korea….well, Korea![...]



Baby Bird

2018-02-08T12:43:18.916-05:00

As a first-grader, The Moose brings home several books from school each night to read, and he brought this particular book home earlier this week:


Full disclosure: I did not read this book. I only know what my wife told me and the following summary:

Derek finds a wounded baby bird. He brings it home and gives it water and food. Grandpa cautions him that the baby bird probably won't live, but Derek is hopeful. When the bird dies during the night, Grandpa assures Derek he did his best and comforts him with a big hug.

My first response is what the heck kind of book is this for a first grader? Oh what a cute book about a boy caring for an injured bird. I'm sure this will have a happy ending. Wait, the bird died!?!?

Let me go back here. When my son was about to get his adenoids out, we got several kids books about going to the hospital. Therefore, I'm sure there are plenty of books about death geared towards kids, particularly about the loss of a pet. In the case of the hospital books, that was something we sought out to read to him. Maybe my issue here is that this book seems really sad and not all that appropriate as a general reading book. Actually, maybe it is appropriate. What do I know? My outrage has certainly decreased significantly since I started writing this post!

So with all of this written, um, if you're looking for a book about a dead bird to read to your kid or have him/her read to you, Baby Bird by Beth Johnson is it!



Wrist and Blog Updates

2018-02-06T12:10:35.794-05:00

As of Friday, I am in this brand new black cast.


Unfortunately, a black and yellow/gold cast was not an option. I will now wear this cast until early March, and then the doctor will remove the two pins currently in my wrist. (I've included the complete medical information below if you're truly interested in the specifics about the procedure.) I'll start physical therapy two days after getting the pins out, but it will still be some time until my wrist is back to normal.

I'm sure that you're all concerned about the status of this blog while I'm on the DL (and my wrist too!). I can still type with one hand, so I plan on continuing to write. However, I'm looking for people who are interested in writing a guest blog post. I'm also hoping to have some interviews since it's much easier to type a few questions and let the responses be the centerpiece of the post. If you're interested in writing a guest post or know someone who would be available for an interview about an interesting topic, please let me know.

Thanks!


Pre and Post-Operative Diagnosis: Volar dislocation, distal ulna, right wrist.

Procedure: Closed reduction and percutaneous pinning of closed volar dislocation, distal ulna, right wrist.




Emotional Support Needed

2018-02-01T10:31:00.400-05:00

Using only one hand has been quite difficult. While I can type and drive with only my left hand, it's the little things that are bothering me. I cut myself shaving four times yesterday. I can't tie my shoes or put in my contact lenses. Opening Ziploc bags are also tough. Putting toothpaste on a toothbrush is impossible. And of course, I'm not going to be able to pick up 4 month-old Luigi for many weeks.

Through this all, I've decided that I need an emotional support animal. Ziggy is great, but he can't be with me outside the house, especially on the Metro. Therefore, I'm going to get a peacock. Seems like this shouldn't be a problem as long as I'm not taking the peacock on an airplane!




We've All Got Places To Go

2018-01-31T10:16:02.065-05:00

While my blogging may be limited at the moment, I thought I could still share a video of my current favorite commercial.

width="440" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CH9yvMGeHfo" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen>

From my experiences driving in Delaware, I'm surprised that Washington isn't crossing in front of a toll booth and being asked to pay a toll!



My New Look

2018-01-28T10:30:23.666-05:00

Due to my recent fall, this is the current state of my wrist/arm:


Looks nice, right? Despite playing sports all the time as a kid, my only injury was a sprained ankle where I was on crutches for a few days. This is the first time I've ever had a cast. So far, I'm not a fan.

Of course, my opinion might change if I get all the cool kids to sign my cast!



Going On The Disabled List

2018-01-25T11:43:37.088-05:00

This is my right arm in a splint. I slipped on my steps, and this is the result. I'm sure you're thinking, with the snow and cold weather, Sean, you need to be more careful walking outside. Of course, this actually happened when I fell on steps inside my home.Let's set the scene. It was about 6:20 AM on Thursday morning, and I was on our main floor getting The Moose (age 6) breakfast. Meanwhile, Pedro Tulo wasn't making any effort to start the day, so I went upstairs to get him. As I was carrying the three year old down the hardwood steps wearing my old slippers with little tread, I slipped and slid down about four steps. I fell on my wrist and had the additional weight of Pedro Tulo landing on top of it. Pedro Tulo started crying but we quickly determined that he was just shaken up by the fall and was completely fine. Meanwhile, I figured that my pain would wear off in a few minutes and I would be fine. The pain did not wear off, so I went to the ER.I have no good stories from the ER, only that they did X-rays and found that there was no break. They gave me a splint, the name and number for an orthopedic doctor, and sent me on my way. width="440" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IGMabBGydC0" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen>Despite taking ibuprofen, I was still in pain throughout Thursday. On Thursday night/Friday morning, I don't think I slept for more than a 30-minute stretch because I just couldn't get comfortable. My right hand was basically useless. Therefore, for my Friday morning doctor's appointment, I decided not to drive and took a Lyft for the first time, and I have to admit that I enjoyed the experience.The orthopedic doctor did several exercises with my wrist, mostly causing even more pain, but also gave me some type of shot so he could twist my wrist even more. He then gave me an order to get a CT scan/MRI. Fast forward to Monday and my wrist felt better. I still couldn't rotate it, but I was (barely) able to tie my shoes. I got the MRI done, and when the doctor's office received the results, they called me to schedule an appointment to come in. My thought was: This can't be good. And it wasn't. In talking with this doctor on Monday and a hand specialist on Tuesday, I learned that I have a complete dislocation of the radial ulnar joint. Basically, it's a broken joint in my wrist. This is going to seriously hurt my chances of becoming a hand model!The big issue is that I cannot rotate my wrist. Who knew that rotating your wrist is so important? The only way to fix this for adults is surgery, and my right wrist/arm is going to be useless for some time (I'll explain more below). Right now, I can't pick up my 4 month old, Luigi, because I have no strength in my wrist. This has been particularly devastating since we really bonded over the last few weeks as I had been home with him. I can't get him in and out of his crib or his clothing. I'm not sure how to feed and burp him with only one hand either.Here are other things I can't do:- Open most food packages, most notably the applesauce packets Pedro Tulo eats every morning.- Type with my right hand- Put in my contact lensesI've shaved twice since the accident and while not awful, the results haven't been great. width="440" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WIKeZD2IFlU" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen>The doctor also said that I should get slip on shoes since I won't be able to tie them.I need to figure out how to do things with only my left hand and quickly. I'll get surgery over the next few days and will likely wear a cast for 4-6 weeks. That will be followed by physical therapy. The doctor said it would be 3-6 months to get back to using my wrist normally. That's a long time. I mean, the Pittsburgh Pirates could trade[...]



The Pittsburgh Pirates

2018-01-16T10:04:09.920-05:00

After trading Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros, I decided to ask several friends, who have been Pittsburgh Pirates fans for many years, their thoughts on the trade and the state of the Pirates. In the middle of this conversation, the Pirates traded former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants. Nick: I think it will take a few years before we can accurately assess the trade-- that's how long it took for Robbie Grossman to become a semi-useful player. I mean, who would have predicted that Wade Davis would be the most valuable piece in the James Shields-Wil Myers trade? Ultimately, it's a decent haul, even without a headliner. I don't see Musgrove's future as a starter, but both arms are nice bullpen pieces and can be flipped in a year or two to reload further. 7th and 8th inning guys have never been more valuable. Moran could be OK, he has some pop. The Pirates have no pop and no ability to score runs. I love that his most direct comp is... David Freese. Gobo: I think, without the context of who runs the Pirates (including Nutting and Huntington), the trade makes sense. Cole was never going to sign with the Pirates once he became a free agent, and frankly, he never quite lived up to the hype after Game 2 against the Cardinals in 2013. So I don't have a problem with trading him now. I don't have a problem with the return in theory. I think an important thing about Moran specifically is that he bats lefty, and the Pirates, even in their good years, have had a righty-heavy lineup. Even now, assuming Moran is the starting 3B, there are only 2 lefties plus one switch in the lineup.The real problem is that nobody in the fan base trusts this management group. They had chances, particularly in 2014 and 2015, to go all-in, and they refused. This trade, even if the correct move, appears as just another emblem of that, and it pisses people off. If Theo Epstein made this trade, people would be singing its praises, or at least evaluating it from a balanced perspective. But with Nutting/Huntington, the default view is that winning a championship isn't goal #1, and this reinforces that view.Sean: Gobo and Nick - How dare you have reasonable responses that make sense!And then news started coming out of an Andrew McCutchen trade.Nick: I’m sure I’ll say something nasty about the Cutch Trade when they announce the return. Marc: Looks like we won’t have to wait long to find out...http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/22111712/andrew-mccutchen-traded-san-francisco-giants-pittsburgh-piratesJamie: Looks like Cutch was traded for a relief pitcher.Gobo nailed it. Management lost the fan base's trust. And it's well deserved. Until we can go into an offseason confident that they'll add $30 million in free agents and any salary dump will be of the Mark Melancon variety, we shouldn't trust these guys. There's no stud prospects on the horizon and no reason to assume 2018 won't be a flirtation with 500. Cole wasn't the ace we needed, so instead of getting the ace we've needed since Doug Drabek left town, they just dumped $21 million in salary and have zero intention to spend it on anyone who could help. This team doesn't need a Musgrove, Moran or Crick to get them to October. It doesn't need another bullpen arm to reach the playoffs. It's not a few pieces away. The offense has evolved into Josh Bell and 7 guys who hit 10-15 HR and a rotation of #3 and #4 starters. We're looking at a $70+ million payroll I'm 2018, which I believe places us last in the division by a lot. The only upside to all this is at least we're not the Marlins.Sean: Did the Pirates really just trade Cutch for Burt Reynolds and a guy we can call Crick? Good for Cutch. Sad day for Pirates fans.Nick: Kyle Crick throws gas and was touted as the next starter in line to ascend aft[...]



2018 State of the Ramblings (L'Chaim!)

2018-01-10T11:09:06.868-05:00

Sean's Ramblings turned 13 on Monday and as customary in Jewish tradition, I'm considering this to be the blog's Bar Mitzvah. Yes, today is the day that this blog became a man! Feel free to send fountain pens as gifts!Looking back over the past year, 2017 contained the fewest posts I've written since this blog's inception in 2005. 90 posts still seems like a lot of writing, but I used to crank out 250-300 posts per year. I guess it's quality over quantity now. Anyway, the biggest reason for my decreased amount of writing was something that wasn't on my radar when I wrote the 2017 State of the Ramblings: Luigi.Luigi arrived in early September approximately five weeks early and spent a week in the NICU. I wrote all about my fears and concerns about being a new dad again in October, and three months later, Luigi is by far the easiest of the three boys right now. I'm sure that I'm jinxing this, but he has slept through the night the past five nights. He has a wonderful smile (particularly when getting his diaper changed) and is generally happy unless he's really hungry or really tired. Actually, this describes most people I know.Besides Luigi, the biggest thing to happen on Sean's Ramblings this year was my two-part (part 1; part 2) interview with Chris Wright, former General Manager of the Pittsburgh Spirit and now former President of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx. He's now the CEO of Minnesota United. Did his interview with me lead to the new job? Can you prove it didn't?While I keep some things private, I probably share too much information sometimes like when I got a vasectomy and took Pedro Tulo to the ER. I also posted videos of me from high school where I performed in Lil' Abner.I saw U2,I saw the eclipse (sort of) with my kids, and said goodbye to my car.I called out Jerry Falwell Jr. and actually used much of the post in a letter to the editor of a local Northern Virginia newspaper. Really I did.So what will 2018 bring on Sean's Ramblings? I have no idea. I'd like to write more, but three little boys may prevent that. There are many talented people who used to write blogs that don't anymore. Perhaps they might want to write a guest post here. Maybe I'll continue with my campaign to bring back Press Your Luck. Or start a campaign. I'd like to do more interviews. I'd also still like to cover a sporting event or awards show. Thanks to all of you who have read any or all of my posts over the last 13 years. I truly appreciate the support![...]



Random Ramblings 2018

2018-01-08T12:51:17.789-05:00

Happy New Year! Even though we're now into the second week of 2018, since this is my first post of the year, I find it completely appropriate to include a Happy New Year message. Here are some things that have occurred recently:* The Moose is 6 years old, and I was really excited to show him Star Wars. Unfortunately, he wasn't really into the movie, and we only made it through about 35 minutes. I probably didn't sell the movie enough to him, but I'm putting some of the blame on TNT. The station had the film available for free via On Demand, which was great, but you're not able to fast-forward during the broadcast. Every 15 minutes or so, TNT interrupted the movie to show commercials of TNT shows. Every single TNT show, with the exception of the NBA on TNT, features characters with guns. While I know there are lightsabers and phasers in Star Wars, the TNT shows/commercials are definitely not geared for 6 year olds.* Recently, as I was changing the diaper of three month old Luigi, he had a major spit up when I started to pick him up. Based on the position of his face, the spit up started going right towards one of his eyes. My natural reaction was to warn Luigi to close his eyes. Of course, since he is still an infant, he had no concept of what I was frantically screaming about and was completely unfazed by any of this as I had to go into clean up mode.* I've written about my love of Wegmans many times over the years. For some dumb reason, I decided to go grocery shopping on both Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Although I had trouble finding parking on both occasions and the store was as crowded as I've seen it, all 23 check out lines were open and moved very quickly. * Meanwhile, I went to Safeway recently since they had several great deals. On a weekend morning, the store had 1 register open. One!?!!? Unless I'm in a hurry or only have one item, I try to avoid the self-checkout lines. I find that I often have trouble scanning items or am buying items (medicine or alcohol) that require assistance. Plus, I want to go to aisles with cashiers to help preserve these jobs. So at Safeway, with one aisle open, the staff actually told me to go to self-checkout because there was a line. I don't understand how that store operates.* I've also started to go to Aldi (or Aldi's in my mind) on occasion since they have ridiculous prices on their brand items. Recently, I purchased dishwasher detergent that said "compare to Cascade" on the packaging. It went poorly. All of the glasses, plates, silverware, etc. had a filmy finish. I ran the dishwasher again with the same detergent with the same result. Then, I ran the dishwasher on a rinse cycle. Then, I bought our normal detergent, but the filmy finish remained. Finally, I got vinegar and that seemed to solve the problem. I compared Aldi's dishwasher detergent to Cascade and learned that there really is no comparison. Oh, I've also discovered that one of the ways that Aldi's has inexpensive products is because they don't seem to use heat in their stores. It was single digit temperatures over the weekend in Northern Virginia, and the store couldn't have been much warmer than that.* I'll end with this. Pedro Tulo (age 3) has a catchphrase. He says "Everybody knows that" several times per day with no context and with nothing to do with any type of conversation. I have no idea where he got this. [...]



Sean's Ramblings 2017 Year In Review

2017-12-29T11:12:13.278-05:00

Welcome to my 13th (yes, 13th!) annual year in review, where I take the first few lines of the first entry of each month in order to produce a random and (hopefully) interesting summary of 2017. Please note that this is not my picks for best of/worst of 2017 since I posted that last week. This is simply a summary of 2017.January: Happy New Year! Today, you're going to get three rants for the price of one (assuming that you're paying for this blog...which you're not, so you're just getting three rants).February: Welcome to a brand new edition of Sean analyzing current song lyrics. The songs below are all near the top of the charts and all used lyrics that are inspired by 80s movies. March: Over the weekend, President Trump sent out the following tweet.April: We've established that I'm often out of touch, one of the last people to adjust to new technology, and basically, unhip. (Unless it's hip to be square, and then I think I'm okay. If you don't understand this reference, go to Google and search for Huey Lewis and The News greatest hits.) May: Although my sports focus right now is on the Penguins-Capitals series, the NFL draft took place last week, so I thought I would share my thoughts about the Steelers draft picks. Please note that this isn't exactly an in-depth, analytic blog post. It's slightly different.June: Twenty years ago last month, the Spice Girls were proclaiming Girl Power (while also telling us what they want, what they really, really want) and Hanson's MMMBop was about to take over the country. Meanwhile, I graduated from college. I nearly missed this anniversary except for a former mentor/supervisor posting something on Facebook about Ithaca College's Senior Splash.July: In the early 90s, it was impossible to avoid Boyz II Men. They performed ballads such as "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," "End of the Road," and "I'll Make Love To You" that was played at every wedding, graduation ceremony, and prom. August: This is Halsey. (It sounds cooler if you say it like "This is Jeopardy.")September: In the Taylor Swift-Katy Perry rivalry, I'm Team Katy. Despite the fact that she was awful hosting Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards (we can blame the writers, right?), I think we can all agree that it would be much more fun to hang out with Perry over SwiftOctober: These are depressing times. In the past month, hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated Texas and Florida respectively. Then, Hurricane Maria absolutely destroyed much of Puerto Rico.November: When you write over 2,800 blog posts in nearly 13 years, you tend to have some overlapping topics. Therefore, some of this post expands on previous posts though I have some thoughts/notes on fatherhood, Pittsburgh sports media, and Ithaca College too. December: Woodland Hills High School, just outside the Pittsburgh's city limits, is probably best known for two things: football where the team has been to the WPIAL playoffs for 22 consecutive years and produced nearly a dozen NFL players including Jason Taylor, Rob Gronkowski, and Steve Breaston and musical theater where the school has won countless Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater.And that's basically my blog for 2017. Well, except for the part about having a new son. That was pretty significant.Have a Happy New Year![...]



Caps For Sale Comes to Life

2017-12-28T10:57:01.800-05:00

Caps For Sale is a well known children's book by Esphyr Slobodkina. If you're not familiar with the story, a peddler wanders around a town unsuccessfully attempting to sell caps. During a break, the peddler takes a nap and wakes up to discover the monkeys took all of his caps. Hilarity ensues!


Meanwhile, hilarity did not ensue when one monkey took a Pittsburgh Steelers cap.

From WPXI:

A former Erie man now living in Bali who fell from a roof while chasing a monkey that had stolen his favorite Pittsburgh Steelers cap will have surgery.

Jeff "Swede" Swedenhjelm, who moved to Florida 17 years ago before relocating to Bali, fell 33 feet on Monday.

"He's like, 'That's my hat, I need it,'" his daughter, Lyric, told Channel 11 in an interview. "And you know Steelers Nation is everywhere, but in Bali, it's a lot harder to come by, to buy a new hat, so he wasn't going to let it go very easily.

Villagers took him to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with severe damage to his spinal cord. He currently is paralyzed from the chest down.


I really don't want to make light of this situation, but it seems like a bad idea to have caps around monkeys.



Friday Video: Rudolph

2017-12-22T10:34:12.212-05:00

Have you always enjoyed the holiday classic Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer but thought that it was missing more words, questions, and exclamations between the lines of the song? Well, rapper DMX is here for you, and he's gonna give it to ya up in here (up in here). Enjoy!

(The songs and videos are safe for work. It's Rudolph. You can't add bad words to a Rudolph song.)

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And here's DMX performing this song live.

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For those who celebrate, have a Merry Christmas!



Sean's Best and Worst of 2017

2018-01-03T11:07:53.498-05:00

Welcome to my annual list of the best and worst of 2017! Actually, it's not my annual list of 2017 since there's no way I would have known in 2014 what my favorite song or book of 2017 would have been. You know what I mean. Anyway, feel free to enjoy my thoughts on some of the biggest pop culture (and more) things that occurred in 2017.Best TV Show: The Good PlaceI watch a lot of television. With young kids and especially a new addition to the family in September, I rarely get to the movies (more on that below). I also find that I don't have time to sit down and watch a 90-minute or 2-hour plus movie as I fall asleep too easily and just don't have the time to watch a movie in one sitting. Therefore, I load up on TV shows on the DVR and started a Netflix subscription. There are so many great shows out there. Just on Netflix alone, I really enjoyed Ozark, Glow, Master of None, American Vandal, and Stranger Things this year. ABC's Speechless may be the funniest show on TV, and I love Better Call Saul. FOX's Brooklyn Nine-Nine is still fantastic and I found USA's Search Party very interesting. The most clever and fascinating show, and also my favorite from the past year, is NBC's The Good Place. The premise behind the show is that Kristen Bell dies and goes to The Good Place, which is basically heaven. However, Bell's character is actually a terrible person who really shouldn't be there. Ted Danson is perfectly cast as the architect of The Good Place neighborhood and the rest of the cast is amazing. There was a huge twist at the end of season one that made most people (or at least me) wonder where the show would go from there, but season two has been just as good if not better than season one.Please note that I have not seen Game of Thrones yet this year, so that didn't make the list. I also need to see Mindhunter.Worst TV Show: NashvilleI've watched this show from the beginning. I guess it's a guilty pleasure, and I really don't know why I still watch it. At the beginning, it was Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere being country music stars. The show was definitely soap-opery but the music was good (even from someone who isn't a big country music fan), and I enjoyed most of the characters. ABC cancelled the show a few years ago, but it got a second life on CMT. Then, this season, they killed off Connie Britton, only the best person on the show. Panettiere's character keeps doing dumb things and never learns from anything in her past. Then, they had a "is Gunnar the father of Scarlett's baby" thing. Plus once Will came out as gay and most people were okay with it, the show didn't know what to do with him, so he rarely gets screen time. Meanwhile, Deacon can never be happy, and the show wasted Rachel Bilson having her be an accountant or something. The one redeeming quality of this show right now is that I can watch it and do something else. I need to have my full attention on the shows listed above, but I can write a blog post watching Nashville and know I'm not going to miss anything. Anyway, I really should stop watching this show especially when I have season three of Fargo, the last season of Orphan Black, and the current season of This Is Us all sitting on my DVR.Best Song: Feel It Still by Portugal The ManI wrote about this song back in August, and since that time, it exploded. I'm not saying that I was the reason for the song becoming one of the most played songs of 2017, but I guess I'm not not saying that either. Plus, the band's Twitter account liked and responded to my tweet when I wrote my August post. That gets bonus points in my book! width="440" height="315" src="https://www.youtu[...]



Friday Video: Wish I Knew You

2017-12-15T13:10:29.637-05:00

We're getting close to the end of 2017, and you know what that means, right? I'll have my best and worst of 2017 post sometime soon! (And you need to go out any buy those ridiculous 2018 glasses that you can only use once for New Year's Eve.) For the best song of any given year, my rule is that the video of the song must be posted on my blog at some point during the year. Although I'm (probably) not going to award my best song of 2017 to The Revivalists for Wish I Knew You, it's definitely a contender.

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The song has only received widespread attention over the past few months, but it's actually from February 2016. Who knew? (Well, besides The Revivalists.)

Have a great weekend!



Merry T-Rex-Mas

2017-12-14T10:54:04.268-05:00

Do you see two Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs fighting over a table saw or is it just me?


(This picture is courtesy of Displaced Yinzer‏.)



JuJu Claus Is Coming To Town (Assuming Your Town Is Pittsburgh)

2017-12-12T10:35:21.592-05:00

JuJu Smith-Schuster may be one of the most fun people in sports. He is the youngest player in the NFL and has been part of some epic touchdown celebrations.

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JuJu only recently got his driver's license, so prior to this, he rode a bike quite frequently. It was national news when his bike got stolen, but after it was recovered, he made sure everyone knew that his bike would not be stolen again.

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JuJu is also helping to give back to the community.

The jolly and giving man in the traditional red suit has been replaced! This Tuesday, December 12 at 6 p.m. at the Mall at Robinson expect a wide receiver in a chic, tailored red suit for a photo opportunity in the spirit of the season of giving. Yep, JuJu Claus is coming and all proceeds of the photo opportunity benefit the Homeless Children’s Education Fund.


The center court of the Mall at Robinson will be the headquarters for JuJu Smith-Schuster to be JuJu Claus in his David Alan custom-designed suit. Total Sports Enterprises will present the photos only opportunity for $19 per photo, which benefits the Homeless Children's Education Fund, along with the sale of #Team JuJu laces. Total Sports Enterprises will sell the laces in-store at the Mall at Robinson and online at tseshop.com for $7.99 youth, and $9.99 adult. To further support the cause, each purchaser of #TeamJUJU laces receives a ticket for a drawing to win a pair of authentic Adidas JuJu cleats.

For more information concerning JuJu Claus coming to the Mall at Robinson tonight, visit www.tseshop.com.




Potato Pancakes For Breakfast?

2017-12-08T10:49:36.122-05:00

Potatoes can be a big part of any breakfast. You regularly see hash browns or home fries on any breakfast menu. At Waffle House alone, you can get hash browns covered, smothered, chunked, diced, capped, topped, and/or peppered or some type of combination of any or all of these.

With Hanukkah starting next week, Safeway is selling potato pancakes at these discounted prices:


The only problem is that the potato pancakes are in the "Breakfast & Cereal" portion category on the Safeway app. Despite the fact that potato and pancake are in the food's name, I've never seen or heard of people eating potato pancakes for breakfast. Have you?

(Please don't mind my terrible attempt at crossing off the address of my local Safeway.)



Actual Video of Sean on Stage

2017-12-04T10:49:07.716-05:00

Woodland Hills High School, just outside the Pittsburgh's city limits, is probably best known for two things: football where the team has been to the WPIAL playoffs for 22 consecutive years and produced nearly a dozen NFL players including Jason Taylor, Rob Gronkowski, and Steve Breaston and musical theater where the school has won countless Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater. About 7 years ago, someone who graduated from Montour High School started working at my organization. Upon learning that I went to Woodland Hills, he bitterly conceded that Woodland Hills always won at the Gene Kelly Awards.Anyway, during my sophomore year of high school, I was on the stage crew for the production of Guys and Dolls. The fact that I actually helped build a set is funny since I have no building or repair skills whatsoever. (As a tangent, I really need to replace the fluorescent light bulb in the laundry room. I'm going to have to make a Home Depot trip, aren't I? Ugh.) During my junior year, I decided that I wanted to be on stage and not be behind the scenes. Although my singing audition probably went poorly since I have an awful voice, I killed in my dancing audition. Probably more importantly, the show needed a few more male cast members, so I earned the role of Government Man and part of the chorus in the production of Lil' Abner.Recently, videos of the (gulp) 1992 production of Lil' Abner were posted on YouTube. While it's interesting (at least to me) to check out the videos, I wanted to share a few today.The first is a scene before, during, and after the song Unnecessary Town. I'm wearing a suit and hat seated at the U.S. Army table. The last 30 seconds or so of the video shows my true acting range. Oh, feel free to enjoy a Pittsburgh Steelers joke around the 1:10 mark. (The Steelers were coming off of a 7-9 season.) width="440" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qQqWKimxzNY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>There are/were some really, really talented people involved in this musical. Fortunately, they carried me!The second video shows the cast dancing/singing to Rag Offen The Bush. Again, I'm wearing a hat and tie, and you can find me at the front right (scene left). width="440" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ghsFd2t7LBs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>You can see all of the videos here. 25 years later, seeing the Confederate flag displayed so prominently is a little creepy. I guess that's part of the art of the show. Overall, though, this brought back some fun memories, and I think The Moose enjoyed watching me perform.[...]



The Vasectomy

2017-11-30T12:40:58.154-05:00

Let me preface this post by writing that this is TV-14 or TV-MA for content that may be unsuitable for children under 14, 17, or even 35. Viewer discretion is advised.Nearly three months ago, we welcomed Luigi to our family. We also decided that Luigi would not be an older brother, in part due to some of my concerns already being a father of three. So on Wednesday, I did my part to take one for the team. And by my part, I mean I put on a hospital gown and went to sleep, but more on that later.I asked multiple people for recommendations for a urologist. When two people, a friend and my wife's OB-GYN, both suggested the same doctor, we had a winner. While the doctor clearly explained the procedure, what I remember most from my consultation was a picture of him with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana from probably 20 years ago hanging in the lobby. Although I didn't ask the doctor, I wondered if Montana was a previous patient. We'll get back to Montana momentarily.Prior to the surgery, I needed to complete an online registration. Everything was fine except for the question about the reason for the procedure. I initially skipped this question, but since it was required, this is what I entered:I mean are there any other answers?I was also instructed to wear loose fitting clothes. It seems like I had no other options than to wear this:The MC Hammer shirt was actually somewhat tight, so I wore a long-sleeve T-shirt instead.Even though I didn't have a chance to start reading, I brought the book Emily Alone by Stewart O'Nan with me. I received this book recommendation by listening to Rick Sebak on a Ya Jagoff! podcast. How Pittsburgh is that last sentence?To the procedure itself, I've had anesthetic only 2 or 3 times in my life when I got my tonsils out at age 4 or 5, possibly when my wisdom teeth were removed in high school, and now for this vasectomy. I was given an IV and then had a mask put over my mouth. I was out in seconds after the mask was put on. Though I planned on writing everything that happened during the vasectomy, all that I remember is that a Flo Rida song was being played in the operating room. Why Flo Rida? Other than that, I have no idea what happened and how I woke up wearing a jock strap. (On a completely different subject, how did former Pittsburgh Penguin Jock Callander never do endorsement for a jock strap company?)As expected, when I woke up from the anesthetic, I was a little loopy. My wife dropped me off for the procedure to be home with Luigi. The surgical center called her to pick me up, and over the course of the next few hours, I asked her on three separate occasions what time they called her. Otherwise, I enjoyed the Teddy Grahams the surgical center had for me. Then, I went home and spent much of the day in bed and placing an ice pack on the, um, operated area.I'm supposed to be sore for several days and must refrain from physical activity. My doctor said that I shouldn't be in a rodeo and do any alligator wrestling. Fortunately, I did both last weekend. (What, that's not part of your Thanksgiving tradition?) I almost forgot that I received these socks for getting the vasectomy. This really should be a selling point. Have surgery and get a free pair of socks!I'll try to be delicate here, but this is where the mature audience piece comes in. Despite getting a vasectomy, there are still some, um, rounds in the chamber. The doctor said that I need to be the master of my domain 20 times over the next 10 w[...]



Post-Thanksgiving Random Ramblings

2017-11-27T11:29:01.661-05:00

More and more, I'm finding that I have interesting things that I'd like to share, but they alone are not enough for a blog post. That's going to change in the near future, but in the meantime, here are some random thoughts from the Thanksgiving weekend.1. Luigi (now almost 3 months) has started to smile and it's a game changer. Previously, he basically cried, stared blankly, or slept, but his smile more than makes up for the countless diaper changes and over two months of limited sleep.2. During Thanksgiving, my brother showed me a knife he was using to cut the turkey. When I replied, "That's not a knife. This is a knife," he had no idea what I was talking about. My wife and sister-in-law were equally confused. I always thought this was a classic movie line, but it seems like it's not. Do you know where this line is from? This picture should help.3. One of the cool things about Pedro Tulo's preschool is that they have animals. The kids have weekly pony rides (Pedro Tulo isn't interested in this), they have chickens (the kids eat eggs produced by the chickens), and there is a horse and donkey. I have certainly taken the kids to visit the animals during pick up. Last night, I received the following email:On Thanksgiving night and the next night, something got into the chicken coop somehow and killed all of our chickens, most likely a raccoon. Despite hours of re-enforcing the enclosure on Thanksgiving Day, something still got in and killed the remaining 4 the next night.Now, we as parents and/or the teachers are going to have to explain to kids ages 2-5 why there are no more chickens.Raccoons are the absolute worst. 4. I was recently introduced to HQ, the daily trivia app, which I've started to play in the futile attempt to answer 12 questions correctly and win money. The Daily Beast recently published this story, and the app's founder seems like quite a jerk. I still don't understand how this app makes any money. (h/t @Captain Easychord)5. There's still a chance to get a $5 MasterCard gift card when you upload receipts for participating SC Johnson products. Plus, five winners each day up until November 30th will be selected to win a year’s worth of SC Johnson products. Please register at Daily Break by clicking on this link. 6. While watching the Steelers-Packers game last night, I wondered when the NBC broadcast would mention that Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy was from Pittsburgh. It took about two minutes. A little later, NBC showed the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Greenfield and McCarthy's picture when he played on a youth basketball team. NBC missed out on a perfect opportunity to also show my aunt's house and the Greenfield Bridge explosion. width="440" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mv7dJx7iJS0" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allowfullscreen>7. I don't want to get my hopes up, but there's a decent chance that I'm going to be able to share a very special video here soon. It will definitely get its own post![...]



Thanksgiving Message 2017

2017-11-23T11:15:01.438-05:00

Turkey for me
Turkey for you
Let's eat the turkey
In my big brown shoe


I'll have turkey on a plate, but you do you.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!