Friday, June 28, 2013

The Great Koi Heist

Breaking news from my home county:

Detectives are investigating larcenies involving approximately 400 Koi fish from a Herndon-area business park pond.

Police were alerted that the fish were stolen from the pond near 2411 Dulles Corner Park on at least four occasions in June. Employees reportedly encountered two men, claiming to be pond maintenance workers, who claimed to be checking on the health of the fish. They were reportedly removing unhealthy fish and leaving the healthy ones behind. The men were seen scooping the fish with large nets and placing them into large coolers between 1 and 4 p.m. on June 8, 9, 15 and 16.

After further investigation, employees realized that the men were not who they claimed to be and contacted police.

Suspects were described as white and wore sunglasses. One was overweight and around 5 feet 5 inches tall. The men appeared to be in their 50’s.

Anyone who may have seen anyone fitting this description, on these dates, in the area is asked to contact Detective S.D. Gaydos at the Fair Oaks Police District, 703-591-0966 ext. 5004 or call Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477, e-mail at or text “TIP187” plus your message to CRIMES/274637 or call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.

So let me get this straight. Two guys showed up four times over a two week period stating that they were pond maintenance workers and took 400 fish to "check their health." That's an extremely bold and risky move to come back three more times after the first heist. Even Danny Ocean wouldn't do that. Who knew there was such a big black market for koi? The morale of the story is to make sure your koi maintenance workers don't wear sunglasses.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

TMI Thursday: Mistresses

My first celebrity crush was either on Debbie Gibson (as I wrote two years ago) or Alyssa Milano. Amazingly, in the 8+ years of writing Sean’s Ramblings, I’ve only mentioned my crush of Alyssa (we’re on a first name basis) once and that was in the Debbie Gibson post. We all watched Alyssa as Sam on Who’s The Boss and saw her mature from a child to an attractive teenager. I clearly remember an episode where a guy kissed Alyssa as he taught her yoga. I envisioned this same scenario for my first kiss, but followed Doogie Howser’s model instead.

Anyway, Alyssa moved on from Who’s The Boss to some terrible movies in the 90s until eventually settling into roles on television shows Melrose Place and Charmed. I don’t think I ever saw her in either of these shows. Meanwhile, Alyssa had a short marriage with a guy from the band Remy Zero and then turned her attention to baseball: dating baseball players, writing a baseball blog and designing women’s clothing for baseball fans.

For the most part, she’s been off my radar until recently when ABC started showing promos for the new series Mistresses. Seeing Alyssa wearing attractive outfits in the commercials, I decided to give the show a chance. Yes, I’m watching the TV show Mistresses. Actually, I watched the TV show Mistresses. I saw the pilot which wasn’t very good. Then, I thought I would give the show another chance, so I watched the second episode. Despite several scenes with Alyssa wearing suggestive outfits, that isn’t enough for me to continue watching the show. Oh well. I guess I’ll share another picture of Alyssa instead.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Trivia Tuesday

I'm currently on pace to have the fewest amount of blog posts in one month since the inception of Sean's Ramblings. That needs to change over the next week. Therefore, let's start with a Trivia Tuesday. Your challenge is to answer the ten questions based on the pictures 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 Pub Stumpers.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sally Wiggin

Sally Wiggin has worked at Pittsburgh's WTAE since 1980 spending most (if not all) of that time as a news anchor. Wiggin recently announced that she is leaving the anchor desk to host the ongoing series of one-hour prime-time news specials, "WTAE Chronicle." Wiggin's announcement got me thinking. Is she the #1 seed when it comes to female newscasters in Pittsburgh history? Unless I'm missing someone (which is completely likely since I haven't actually lived in Pittsburgh for 15+ years), the only possible challenger to Wiggin is the late Patti Burns. Fairly or unfairly, I always thought that Burns as a legacy based on her father's tenure at KDKA.

While Wiggin is not retiring, so this isn't an end of an era story, do you have a favorite moment of her career? My top moment is from 1994 (I believe) when she carried the entire the Friday night newscast when Don Cannon showed up drunk. I don't think Cannon said an entire word during the entire 30 minutes. Although this video is not online (I really hope WTAE shares this video someday) and she wasn't asked about Cannon in the WQED interview below, here are some of Wiggin's top moments.

(Wiggin singing at about the 47 second mark.)

(If you're not from Pittsburgh, I completely understand if you skip this post.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

$450 Shorts! (Sean On Fashion)

Today's Express featured former(?) Georgetown University student and soon-to-be NBA player Otto Porter. One page discussed why Porter would make an excellent pick for the Washington Wizards while the second page showed Porter at a fashion shoot.

Let's take a closer look at Porter's outfit. From the comments on a previous post, I learned that spending $195 for a shirt is nothing. From the Great Belt Search of 2012, $52 for a belt is more than what I'm willing to pay, but reasonable. I have no idea of the going rate for a leather bracelet, so $115 might be appropriate. However, spending $450 for a pair of pink linen shorts seems ridiculous. Unless shorts were made of gold, why would someone pay so much for shorts? You're not going to wear shorts for a job interview or a wedding. Perhaps you might wear shorts at a golf course to impress a client, but wouldn't a pair of shorts that cost $50 or even $100 be sufficient?

You'll be happy to know that Porter is wearing his own shoes.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Life

I haven't written as much as I'd like lately, so I thought I would share an update about my life.

- On Monday, I left a banana on the counter. On Tuesday, I locked myself out of the house. I'm worried what I might forget at home over the next few days.

- Of course, I need to remember not to keep the keys separated from my cell phone and wallet.

- In December, the dictator of my homeowner association was removed from power. While I supported the coup, the new regime hired a new management company. This management company has been quite aggressive in sending "friendly reminders" about violations to the point of ridiculousness. Sure, power washing needed to be done, but a notice because the tree limbs could interfere with traffic or pedestrians? Unless Dwight Howard is sitting on Shaquille O'Neal's shoulders or an 18-wheeler comes down my street, no one is running into the tree branches. We're not to the point where there is a disturbance in District 12, but there are some disgruntled people.

- Despite this, I really like my neighborhood. We've lived in four different places in Northern Virginia, and this is the first time where we know our neighbors.

- I know this sounds silly, but the fact that we regularly see public buses and airplanes fly overhead are huge pluses. My son loves airplanes and especially buses so this adds to our outside fun.

- Celebrate Fairfax was successful again this year, and my son enjoyed his first time as a walking attendee. His favorite part of the festival: "driving" a Fairfax Connector bus and a fire engine.

- On the topic of Celebrate Fairfax, a volunteer was arrested for taking money from one of the admissions gates. In a nice touch, she's wearing a volunteer T-shirt in the mug shot.

- I'm currently reading "The Johnstown Flood" by David McCullough, so I'm now a little freaked out by heavy rainstorms even though I don't live near any bodies of water or below a poorly built and maintained dam.

- Finally, congratulations to "This Is The End" for being the first movie that I've seen in the theater in 2013.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Random Questions

1. Have you ever had a person you've never met before ask you about your thoughts about the future? Sadly, this wasn't a "where do you see yourself in five years" conversation. This was an extremely random question posed to me by a shuttle bus driver. I had trouble understanding his English but he was completely serious and talked about how China was doing something though I'm not exactly sure what. Basically, I should be happy to live in the United States and not in China. Cuba also got mentioned but I'm not sure of the context. This was all a one-way conversation since I had no idea how to reply. I just wanted to get to my stop as quickly as possible especially since the guy had the air conditioning on too high.

Since this doesn't seem like enough for a blog post, here are two more questions for you.

2. For those of you that use Google Reader, have you found a good alternative? Sadly, Google Reader is going away on July 1st and I'm looking for replacement ideas.

3. When taking a shower or bath, what do you wash first?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Unauthorized 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Recap

The Major League Baseball draft took place over the weekend. While most analysts and websites focus on the first round draft picks, I like to provide commentary on the other guys as you can see from my 2011 and 2012 recaps. Please note that this is in no apparent order.

15th round: Max Rossiter, C, Arizona State - Read this name and try not to think of rotisserie chicken.

3rd round: JaCoby Jones, CF, LSU - This is my least favorite pick by the Pirates. Sure Jones did a nice job on Dancing With the Stars, but I really don't want a member of the Baltimore Ravens on the Pirates.

It's time to play one of my favorite games. Did the Pirates draft someone Jewish? Here are this year's possibilities:

11th round: Erich Weiss, 3B, Texas
16th round: Billy Roth, RHP, Visa HS (CA)
22nd round: Henry Hirsch, RHP, University of New Haven
36th round: Scott Hoffman, RHP, South Mountain Community College
8th round: Neil Kozikowski, RHP, Avon Old Farms School (CT) -- Maybe not the last one.

5th round: Trae Arbet, SS, Great Oak HS (CA) - I feel like the Pirates management just finished watching an episode of Community when they made this pick.

1st round (#9 pick): Austin Meadows, OF, Grayson HS.(GA) - I'll leave this one to PSAMP who thinks this name sounds like a model home community from Arrested Development.

12th round: Beau Wallace, 3B, Hinds CC - I see PSAMP's Arrested Development reference and raise him with Beau Wallace who sounds like a character from Braveheart.

9th round: Chad Kuhl, RHP, Delaware - I hope that he's the most successful Blue Hen of anyone who attended the University of Delaware in the last ten years.

18th round: Jeff Roy, CF, University of Rhode Island
19th round: Brett McKinney, RHP, Ohio State - This was the portion of the draft where the Pirates drafted players based on where my brother and I went to college. Sadly, the Pirates passed on Ithaca College SS Tim Locastro, drafted by Toronto in the 13th round.

14th round: Nick Buckner, CF, North Shore HS (TX) - I like the fact that the Pirates drafted Bill Buckner's kid.

30th round: Will Kendall, LHP, Auburn - I like the fact that the Pirates drafted Jason Kendall's kid.

34th round: Connor Goedert, 3B, Neosho County CC - I like the fact that the team drafted Pirates minor leaguer Jared Goedert's brother. Wait, Connor actually is Jared's brother.

24th round: Carson Cross, RHP, Connecticut - This pick was made in honor of the late Chris Kelly, AKA the "Mac Daddy." Carson Cross will make you jump, jump.

39th round: Jacob Smigelski, RHP, UC Riverside - The Pirates have struggled against Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija over the past few years. Therefore, the team's strategy to defeat the Cubs was to draft someone with a similar name.

I hope that all of these players have successful careers with the Pirates.

Thanks to Pirates Prospects for providing some serious draft coverage.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Trivia Tuesday: Picture Edition

I think it's time we brought back a Trivia Tuesday. Your challenge is to answer the ten questions based on the pictures 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 Pub Stumpers.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

2013 Celebrate Fairfax Guide (Update)

Northern Virginia's largest festival begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday evening. While I encourage you to visit the Celebrate Fairfax website for everything you need to know about the festival, I figured I would provide a guide on things to see and do.

This weekend's headliners are as follows:

Friday, June 7th: Everclear, Live, Filter & Sponge - 7:15 pm

Saturday, June 8th: The B-52s Third Eye Blind at 8:00 pm (see update below)

Sunday, June 9th: Spin Doctors at 4:30 pm

While I shared my thoughts about the Friday night show, I'm also excited about The B-52s Saturday night. Love Shack is a great song, and I hope that this is finally the performance where Shaquille O'Neal joins the band for their signature song. I saw the Spin Doctors open for the Rolling Stones in the mid-90s. Even all these years later, I question the band's credentials. Did they earn a doctorate or is it an honorary degree? If they just have a Masters degree, they really should change the name to the Spin Masters.

One of my favorite annual activities is spinning the Great American Restaurants' wheel. For $3, the worst you can is get a $10 gift certificate. Make sure you get to the festival early since there's always a line for this booth.

- While the headliners get all the attention, there are eight stages featuring both local and non-local performers. There are always really good bands that you have probably never heard of before.

- Underrated aspect of the festival: free Fairfax Water. The water is remarkably refreshing and we regularly use the Faifax Water plastic cups.

- This year, Celebrate Fairfax hosted their first ever Emerging Artist Competition designed in an effort to cultivate and showcase young local artists and create a cost-free way for the artists to show and sell their artwork at a festival. Emerging Artist winners are Nicole Lee, Ashley Morabito, and Kylie Growl. Check out their artwork in the Arts Market.

- There's a Shocktop look-a-like contest this year where you can win a beach town, hat, T-shirt, and cooler with speakers. To enter the "go orange challenge," dress up as the Shocktop mascot and go to the Shock Top Rock Stage from 9:15PM - 9:45 PM on Friday and/or 3:00-3:30 on Saturday. Participants must be 21 and will be judged on creativity, effort, and overall resemblance to the Shock Top Mascot.

- I'm intrigued by the DockDogs competition. I don't really understand how this works, but seeing dogs compete seems like fun.

I wrote about this years ago, but I think it is worth repeating. If you're 11 or older, the cost is $12 at the gate for admission to the festival. How much do you spend on tickets alone when you go to a concert anywhere else (ex. 9:30 Club, Wolf Trap, etc.)? Please also factor in the cost for all of the convenience and venue fees. The answer is more than $12 and often significantly more. Plus, for $12, you get access to all of the other stages and activities. While, naturally, you will pay more if you want food, beer or pop (yes I wrote pop) or ride on the carnival rides, I've never been to a concert that distributes free alcohol or food (or carnival rides for that matter).

If you haven't purchased tickets yet, you can still get discounted tickets at Wegmans in Fairfax, Dulles and Gainesville or on the Celebrate Fairfax website. When you buy your adult tickets online by Thursday and use Promo Code 195, Northern Virginia Family Service will receive $1 for every ticket sold!

Want more?

- The Mount Vernon Patch has your general information

- The Centreville Patch has the kids' perspective.

- Win tickets from Super NoVa Mom.

- The Red Cross will be there.

- NBC4 will be there too.

Finally, during the festival itself, make sure you check out Celebrate Fairfax's blog and Twitter page for updated information.

I hope to see you this weekend!

Major update!

The B-52’s were scheduled to perform at this weekend’s Celebrate Fairfax! Festival (on Saturday night), but had to cancel all of the band's immediate upcoming performances due to an illness to principal band member Cindy Wilson. Cindy’s illness is not life threatening but her doctor has ordered her to take immediate bed rest. Amazingly, in just a few hours time, the festival was able to secure a special return engagement to Celebrate Fairfax by THIRD EYE BLIND. What a get on 48 hours notice!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Joey Fatone At Kennywood

Although Joey Fatone would probably jump at the opportunity for an 'N Sync reunion (although Justin Timberlake would probably earn 75% of the tour revenue), he's had a pretty good career since his boy band days. Fatone appeared on Dancing With the Stars, hosted several television shows including NBC's The Singing Bee and now stars in the musical 42nd Street. On his day off from performing the musical at Pittsburgh's Benedum Center, Fatone did what any normal person visiting Pittsburgh would do...go to Kennywood!

Kennywood Day was such a big deal as a kid that you planned what to wear days if not weeks in advance. (I remember once wearing a matching Pittsburgh Pirates T-shirt and shorts outfit that I debuted specifically for Kennywood.) Apparently, Fatone simply went to the merchandise store to buy a Kennywood sweatshirt.

(The first picture is by my friend Jill; the second one is from Joey Fatone's Twitter page.)

Monday, June 03, 2013

Steelers Swimwear

The Pittsburgh Penguins are in the Eastern Conference Finals and the Pittsburgh Pirates are tied for the second best record in the majors. Therefore I'm writing about, um, the Pittsburgh Steelers today. I recently received an e-mail from selling Steelers swimwear. Now I own several Steelers jerseys, T-shirts, a Steelers jacket and even a pair of Steelers slippers, but I think I draw the line at Steelers swimwear.

Would this woman wear a Steelers bikini if she wasn't getting paid to wear it? On a related topic, why is selling a Pittsburgh Penguins bikini?

So have you ever seen anyone wear swimwear with a professional sports team's logo? Have you ever seen a woman wear swimwear with a professional sports team's logo?