Monday, June 27, 2016

Pittsburgh Penguins Draft Recap: Kasper Bjorkvist

Although I've written Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers draft recaps in the past, last June was the first time I wrote about the Penguins draft. Nearly a year later, the team won the Stanley Cup. Coincidence? I'll let you be the judge.

While this isn't a true recap of the Penguins draft, I want to focus on the team's second selection: Kasper Bjorkvist. Here's his basic information:

Born: July 10, 1997
Selection: 2nd round (61st overall)
Position: RW
Height: 6-1
Weight: 198
Amateur Team: Blues Jr. (Finland Jr.) -- He plays for the awesomely named Espoo Blues!

So what do we really know about Kasper? Well, he's obviously friendly. I mean, I don't know him personally, but Kasper has to be a friendly teenager.

More importantly, you may be amazed to know that his Finnish Wikipedia page does not identify Bjorkvist's parents. There's a good reason for this. Bjorkvist and his family do not want his true identity revealed. Well, I'm here to provide some mind-blowing news. Kasper Bjorkvist's biological parents are none other than music superstar Bjork and a member of the Penguins Stanley Cup Championship team, right winger Patric Hornqvist. I know what you're thinking. Bjork is from Iceland and Hornqvist is from Sweden while Bjorkist is from Finland. That's just to get you off the scent. It's sort of like the story of Moses except Bjork and Hornqvist didn't put Kasper in a basket in the Kemi River. (Yes, I looked up the name of longest river in Finland.) Or maybe a better comparison is Superman's parents sending him to Earth.

You're probably also questioning how Hornqvist could be the father considering he was born in 1987. Have you seen Hornqvist or Bjorkvist's birth certificates? Exactly. We don't truly know their exact ages.

Still not convinced? Let's take a look at some pictures. Here is Hornqvist.


Here is Bjork in arguably her two biggest songs/videos.





Now, here is Bjorkvist.


See the resemblance? In case there is still a bit of uncertainty, let's take a look at Bjorkvist's scouting report as published on Hockey Prospects.

He plays with a 110% attitude all the time and can provide everything a team needs from solid PK to offensive contributions.

110% attitude! Who does that sound like? Patric Hornqvist always plays hard by blocking shots and going right to the net. He's fearless and passionate. Meanwhile, you don't go from Iceland to become a worldwide superstar without attitude. Besides, you need to have 110% attitude to wear this dress.


To Bjork, Hornqvist, and Bjorkvist, I apologize for breaking this family news. Kasper may not even know that Bjork and Patric Hornqvist are his real parents. (If that's the case, I'm sorry that you had to learn this way.) You knew it would happen one day and what better way for this to occur than to have Hornqvist and Bjorkvist playing for the same organization. Continued success to all of you!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Father's Day Gift

At his preschool, my five year old (The Moose) made a very nice gift for me for Father's Day. One side of the card states "Best Dad Hands Down" with my son's handprints in green paint. The other side includes this Q&A about me and apparently a picture of me and The Moose.


I have some thoughts about my son's answers.

1. My dad is 54 years old. So close. Just off by 13 years. (In case you're wondering, I'm 41, not 67.)

2. My dad's favorite color is green. Correct!

3. My dad's favorite food is all the food. So, I guess there's a 2,000-way tie for my favorite food. Apparently, it truly is a toss up on whether I enjoy lima beans and mint chocolate chip ice cream more.

4. My dad's favorite thing to do is hide and seek. This is a fun game that I like playing with The Moose though he always hides in the same places and laughs when I finish counting making the seeking part not very challenging.

5. My favorite thing to do with my dad is play football with him. I don't think we've ever played football together. We've kicked the soccer ball back and forth and I've pitched a plastic softball to him. Wait, is he playing football with another dad? Do we need to call Maury?

6. I love my dad because he gives me kisses. Getting and receiving hugs and kisses from my kids when I get home is my favorite part of the day. (And then they start fighting over some matchbox cars.)

Not related to Father's Day, my two year-old (Pedro Tulo) made his own picture. This could be worth millions when he's a famous someday!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Random Ramblings

There are times when I have a lot in my head that I want to share with the world (or at least the four people that still read my blog), but individually, this is not enough for a blog post. So please indulge me as I share my latest random ramblings.

1. My five year old (The Moose) signed up to play soccer this spring for a seven week season. Unfortunately, it rained nearly every weekend, so many games were cancelled. Last Sunday, we were all set for a make-up game. As we got The Moose into his shin guards, socks, and cleats (no easy tasks), I checked my email before we left. It turns out that the game was cancelled since it was too hot. I get that these are little kids, but it is still frustrating that my son only played 3 games in his first season. Fortunately, he doesn't seem bothered by this as he plays some sort of soccer almost every day at his preschool.

2. My cell phone tracks my steps when it is in my pocket. (I think this is what a Mandy Moore song was about.) My goal each day is 10,000 steps, and I usually end up in the 8,000-11,000 range. Last Friday, as I volunteered to help with Celebrate Fairfax festival set-up, I walked a whopping 28,000 steps nearly all during the 9 hours I was on site. Wow!

(Here's a video of the very random Mandy Moore reference)



3. I've been in a fantasy/rotisserie baseball league since high school (I may have mentioned this before) and am currently 2nd out of 12 teams this season. A new owner (currently in 3rd) pestered me with ridiculous trades over the past week, so I finally decided to make my own ridiculous trade offer back. I figured I would ask him for Colorado OF Carlos Gonzalez, one of the top players in the National League and certainly not someone you would trade if you're looking to win this season, for some prospects. Some very good prospects, but again, why would he trade away someone that will help me and hurt him this season? To my surprise, he said yes. A few days after the deal went down, I'm still uncertain about this move. If I win the league this year, it's a great trade. If not, I'm going to have some major regrets.

4. Before taking The Moose for a haircut the other night, he told me "You only have a little bit of hair left." Yeah, thanks, I already know this.

5. Finally, I took a picture of my two year-old's crib before he (Pedro Tulo) went to sleep last night. I have no idea how he sleeps in there.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sean's Stanley Cup Recap

On Sunday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins won the franchise's fourth Stanley Cup. And it was fantastic! While the Penguins and the city of Pittsburgh celebrated with a victory parade on Wednesday (here's a great live blog via Yahoo's Puck Daddy), I think I should have been invited to ride in the parade. Why you ask? Well, I was key to the team's victory. Throughout the playoffs, I regularly managed to fall asleep on my couch during games. In nearly all of these games, the Penguins won. In the rare occasions when I stayed awake the entire game, the Pens usually lost. Naturally, I slept during the majority of the second period on Sunday night's game six. Feel free to criticize me, but after running around all day and waking up at 5:30 during the week, the couch is very comfortable around 9:00 or 9:30PM. Plus, it doesn't help when Ziggy curls up next to me so I can't move without waking him. It's a recipe for nappy time! The Penguins play exciting hockey and Doc Emrick calls a great game, but it's no match for being tired. In related news, I'm old.


What was also odd about this Stanley Cup Final was watching these games at home by myself. (This contributed to me falling asleep.) When the Penguins won the Cup in 1991 and 1992, I generally watched the games with my dad and brother. (With the notable exception of game one of the 1991 Finals which overlapped with my school's Kennywood Day. We searched the park to find radios so that we could listen to the game. I still remember one friend saying that whoever scored the first Penguins goal would be his favorite player and whoever got the primary assist would be his least favorite player. So my friend ended up being a huge Ulf Samuelsson fan but didn't like some guy named Mario.) When the Pens won the Cup in 2009, I watched game seven at a friend's house. With kids now, they are too young to watch games that start at 8:15. I also enjoy putting them to bed, so if I get them to sleep between 8:00 and 8:30, I'm not going out to watch the games. So on Sunday night, after I woke up, I watched the Pens receive the Stanley Cup alone but celebrated with some text messages with friends and family and via Twitter and Facebook. That's my life in 2016.


I know some people are already thinking about next season. There's talk about a goalie controversy between Stanley Cup Champion Marc-Andre Fleury and Stanley Cup Champion Matt Murray and if they will both be on the team next year. Will Matt Cullen retire? Only days after the Pens winning the Cup, I think it's fair to write, STOP DOING THIS! ENJOY THE FACT THAT YOUR TEAM WON THE CUP! CELEBRATE! PARTY HARD!

With that written, I look forward to the Penguins firing head coach Mike Sullivan next year. Per Jason Mackey of DKPittsburghSports.com:

Coincidence or not, the Penguins’ four Stanley Cups have been won by men who have been in their first year on the bench, men who have had strong personalities and have provided an instant jolt. “Badger” Bob Johnson, Scotty Bowman, Dan Bylsma and now Sullivan.

Great run, coach. Enjoy the celebration over the next few months. You know, before you're no longer with the Penguins in January.

I shared some pictures of the Stanley Cup celebration on Monday, but now I'm sharing more pics, videos, and articles because I want look at these over and over this summer and for the rest of my life.

Benstonium:



Jim Shearer's Yinz Luv Da Guins:



The fantastic Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi guys at the victory parade:



And some more pictures.



Kessel's reaction to seeing this sign.



Thanks to Lowell Murray (@pghguyinva) for many of the amazing pictures.

Way to go Pens!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Pittsburgh Penguins Win The Stanley Cup!

I think the headline states it all. The Pittsburgh Penguins are the 2015-2016 Stanley Cup Champions! Here are some pictures of the celebration:


And a few videos:



It would have been nice if the (I presume) SportsNetCanada announcers got a little more excited about the Penguins winning the championship



Much more coming up soon.

(Photos by Getty Images)

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Celebrate Fairfax Is This Weekend

Holy crap! I just realized that Celebrate Fairfax starts tomorrow. I'm sure the festival staff, volunteers, exhibitors, musicians, county employees and many others are well aware that Northern Virginia's largest festival starts Friday, June 10th, but it sort of snuck up on me this year.


I wrote about this year's headliners a few months ago, and I'll provide ticket information below, but I want to give my annual plug for the festival here. Where you can you see a concert, particularly by Plain White T's, B-52s, or Living Colour, for $15? You can't. Ticket fees alone are usually that much. So Saturday afternoon, you decide that you want to see the B-52s. You didn't purchase advance tickets or take advantage of the deals below, but you want to get tickets at the door. $15 gets you in to see the B-52s. Oh, but there are also dozens of other performers on Saturday as well as the Silent Disco. And DockDogs Championship. And maybe you meet a chiropractor or gutter cover exhibitor that can give you a good deal on something you were already thinking of doing. And there are fireworks. And there are free kids activities. And a Donut Eating Contest. Yes, you'll have to pay more for carnival rides or food or beer (if you go to a Nationals game, they're not going giving out free hot dogs), but that's your choice on how much or little you want to spend on that. Again, all of this is $15 (or less with the deals below).


In addition, there are some new activities this year. While they are all on the Celebrate Fairfax website, I'm intrigued by team trivia on Friday night and the 5K on Sunday morning.

So here are your deals. If you visit any Northern Virginia Wegmans today (Thursday, June 9th), you can get adult tickets for $12 and youth tickets for $4. You can also purchase tickets for less than the door at the Celebrate Fairfax website. Finally, go to LivingSocial today to get a Sunday Funday Family Pack for up to 2 adults and 4 kids for only $22.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Mudcrutch Concert Review

Tom Petty was on my list of musicians that I wanted to see live but never have. So when a friend asked me if I wanted to see Petty's new old band Mudcrutch perform, I reluctantly said yes. Mudcrutch was Petty's original band formed in 1970. The group released one song in 1975, but it never charted, and the band broke up soon after. Several years ago, Mudcrutch reunited and recorded an album. Now they were going on tour to support their second album.

When I reluctantly said yes, I figured that Mudcrutch was Petty wanting to get together with old friends, reminisce about their younger days, and have some fun. I truly thought that the concert would be Petty and his JV team. A few weeks ago, I received the Mudcrutch 2 CD in the mail, a "gift" with the purchase of the concert ticket. I listened to it multiple times over the past week and found it very good. Petty wasn't the lead singer on all of the tracks, but again, I thought he was just being nice and letting his friends have a chance at the spotlight.


Then, Monday night at DC's 9:30 Club arrived. Seeing Petty come out on stage in a 1,300 capacity venue was surreal. Even Petty admitted that he wasn't used to played small venues. He said, "We used to play places this size. They weren't quite as nice as this, but they had topless dancers." I only knew the songs from the second CD and a cover of Bob Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door," but I quickly stopped thinking of Mudcrutch as Tom Petty and his side gig. I was blown away by Benmont Tench on the keyboards and learned that both he and guitarist Mike Campbell are also members of The Heartbreakers. The entire band was comprised of professional musicians that have honed their craft over decades. They clearly were not guys who picked up their instruments for the first time since their 20s. Naturally, I focused on Petty as he was the lead singer of most songs, but this was clearly a band that sounded like they played together forever. Even after the concert, the songs that stayed in my head were those where Petty wasn't the lead singer. Sure, I would have loved to have heard Mudcrutch perform some of Petty's biggest hits, but it turned out to be okay that they didn't.

A few other notes from the concert:

- The Denver Broncos visited the White House on Monday. My guess is that current Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Rob Ryan tried to sneak in and was denied entry. He then must have come to the 9:30 Club to see Mudcrutch. (Or it was just some other guy that looked like Rob Ryan.)


- As we left the venue, we were stopped as the Mudcrutch tour buses exited. They weren't messing around. There were no meet and greets or talking with the 9:30 Club staff. They left the stage and immediately went on the tour buses to go to their next destination (probably a hotel).

- The opening act was a band called The Shelters who are releasing their debut album on Friday. I had no expectation for them, but they were also very good. They don't have many more Twitter followers than me, so I recommend that you support them.

- Free parking is always a plus for any concert or any venture into DC.

You can read more professional reviews of the concert from USA Today (with set list), The Washington Post, and Writers on the Storm.


Mudcrutch photo by Mike Snider/USA Today. Rob Ryan photo by Mike Rodak/ESPN.

Friday, June 03, 2016

Friday Video: I Took A Pill In Ibiza

You may or may not remember the singer Mike Posner. He was somewhat famous about five years ago for earning a record deal before he graduated from Duke (where he earned his degree before releasing an album), recording the song Cooler Than Me, and getting mentioned in a Sean's Ramblings analyzing song lyrics post. You also probably haven't heard from Posner since before London Olympics. Anyway, Posner is back with the song I Took A Pill In Ibiza which is incredible simply for these lyrics:

I'm just a singer who already blew his shot
I get along with old timers
'Cause my name's a reminder of a pop song people forgot


I love this. It's so self-aware and probably true. Actually, I can imagine Posner hanging out with Eagle-Eye Cherry, OMC, and The Verve Pipe talking about past glory. Here is Posner performing his new song on Ellen:



And the official video which includes a few NSFW lyrics.



In case Posner reads this, who the f@#! cares what Avicii thinks? Oh, was taking a pill one of the tricks you used in Cooler Than Me?