Thursday, March 24, 2016

I Finally Saw Star Wars

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on Friday and is expected to have a monster box office opening. Do you remember the last movie that was this highly publicized? That would be Star Wars: The Force Awakens that opened in December. Earlier this week, I became one of the last people in America to see the film. Here are some very random thoughts I have about the film. Please note that there are some spoilers here for the other 15 people that haven't seen movie yet.

- I think I deserve lots of credit for managing to avoid all spoilers. For example, I had no idea that Han Solo had a son. Or that the mother of his child was Princess Leia. Or that Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher look significantly older than they did in Return of the Jedi.

- I also managed to avoid any news that Miles from Lost and Parkman from Heroes were part of the rebellion. Seriously, why didn't anyone tell me they were in the movie? I was far too excited about these guys being in the film than I should have been.

- As I watched the end of the opening crawl, I desperately wanted the text to finish with "If you can read this, you don't need glasses."

- When Han Solo and Kylo Ren/Ben met, I fully expected Han to break the ice by complimenting his son on his hair. (By the way, shouldn't his name be Kylo Ben instead of Kylo Ren?) Of course, as soon as I saw that they were meeting on a bridge, I knew it wasn't going to end well for Han.

- Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones was supposed to be in this movie, but I didn't see her. Was she a stormtrooper?

- I was a little disappointed that Lando Calrissian didn't get a cameo. Billy Dee Williams appeared in a Modern Family episode a few years ago, so what's the deal J.J. Abrams? Yoda's spirit would have been nice to see too.

- Was BB-8 named after legendary blues singer and guitarist B.B. King or the slightly less legendary British boy band BBMak?

You know, I now want to hear the only BBMak song I know. Try to get this song out of your head today!

- There was another guy in the rebellion that looked a lot like Donald Sutherland, but I don't think he had any lines, so he couldn't have been Donald Sutherland. Donald Sutherland is no extra!

- So Supreme Leader Snoke. Is he a giant or was he just projected as one? Oh, Snood is significantly better than Snoke.

- So what does Luke Skywalker do with all his time on the island? Seriously, does he just hang out on the top of the mountain? Does he watch any news or have internet service? Seems like the food options are limited at best too.

I think this pretty much captures everything that happened. When does the next movie come out? I'm sure I'll see it 6 months after the release date!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Eating In Pittsburgh In 24 Hours

I made a somewhat impromptu visit to Pittsburgh this weekend. While it was extremely odd driving on the Parkway East and not seeing the Greenfield Bridge, I thought I would share what I ate over the past few days.

- Filet-O-Fish and fries at McDonalds

- Pierogis, pizza and the Pious Monk Dunkel beer at The Church Brew Works.

- Whatever drink this is at Hidden Harbor.

(By the way, Hidden Harbor is such a random place. It's a tiki bar right by the corner of Shady & Forbes in Squirrel Hill. I was also at least 10 years older than just about everyone in the bar. I guess this is the new hip place? Squirrel Hill has hip places? I remember a day where you went shopping for clothes at Newman's and London Dock on Forbes. In related news, I'm old.)

- Vanilla milkshake at Eat 'n Park.

- French toast and orange juice at Eat 'n Park (not at the same meal as the milkshake)

- A burger and a side of pasta salad at Benjamin's on the North Side.

- A cinnamon sugar pretzel from Sheetz.

So I didn't really eat "healthy" this weekend. Well, there were some apples on the burger. Milk is part of the milkshake, so that's got to count for something, right?

Speaking of healthy food, this is now two consecutive trips to Pittsburgh where I didn't go to The O. That needs to change on my next trip.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016 Celebrate Fairfax Headliners

Celebrate Fairfax, Northern Virginia's largest festival announced its headliners for the annual event.

Friday, June 10: Plain White T's

Yes I could have posted the video of Hey There Delilah, but I like this song better.

Saturday, June 11: The B-52s

By far, my favorite song about the NBA legend.

Sunday, June 12: Living Colour

This should be fun!

I'm sure I'll have much more about the festival over the next three months. Plus you can learn more about the festival and how to get tickets at the Celebrate Fairfax website.

Update: Here is a formal press release about the festival and headliners:

FAIRFAX, VA, March 15, 2016 –- Northern Virginia’s largest community-wide event, the 35th annual Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, is set to take place June 10-12, 2016 on the grounds of the Fairfax County Government Center. The Celebrate Fairfax! Festival features 25 acres of amazing concerts, family programs, exhibits, thrilling carnival rides and nightly fireworks! Among the festival's highlights are more than 130 performances on eight stages, with an exceptional line-up of national, regional and local artists. Included are three fantastic headlining performances:

2016 Headline Entertainment Schedule for the Bud Light Main Stage:

• Friday, June 10th at 8:00 p.m. Plain White T’s

The Plain White T's kicked off their career in the Chicago suburbs, playing a mix of pop, punk, and melody--‐driven rock & roll in basements and clubs across the metro area. A decade--‐and--‐a--‐half later — with several thousand shows and a string of platinum –selling singles, including the mega--‐hit "Hey There Delilah” (the 18th most downloaded song of all time), under their belts. The guys haven't stopped heading back to the basement to dream up new sounds. There's where the Plain White T's put the finishing touches on American Nights, the band's first independent album since 2001.

• Saturday, June 11th at 8:00 p.m. B-52s

It is well known that the B-52s are the World’s Greatest Party Band. And thirty years and over twenty million albums into their career, there can be no doubt as to why The B-52s remain among the most beloved rock stars ever. Any mystery concerning the longevity and ongoing appeal of the band is immediately solved when exposed to a unique B-52s concert experience. From the timeless gems of "Rock Lobster," "Planet Claire" and "Private Idaho" to the more recent classics “Channel Z," "Love Shack" and "Roam", the B-52s’ unforgettable dance-rock tunes start a party every time their music begins.

• Sunday, June 12th at 4:30 p.m. Living Colour

Living Colour is an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1984. Stylistically, the band's music is a creative fusion influenced by free jazz, funk, hard rock and heavy metal. The band’s debut album, “Vivid,” was released in 1988 on Epic Records and reached #6 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. It featured “Cult of Personality,” a #13 hit on the Billboard 200 Singles chart as well as the Top 40 hit, “Glamour Boys.” “Cult of Personality” went on to earn the band their first Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.

In addition to the outstanding entertainment schedule, there are plenty of enhancements to the festival programming at Celebrate Fairfax!, including areas such as the popular Silent Disco, the Fairfax County Karaoke Championship, the Fairfax County DockDogs Competition, VA Tourism LoveArtwork, Celebrate Fairfax 5k Race, Giant Maze, Pop-up Playground, Flamingo Frenzy Scavenger Hunt and the Emerging Artist Showcase, plus more than 60 carnival rides, games, and attractions, and over 30 food vendors with enough variety to please anyone! These fantastic attractions are some of the many programs that Celebrate Fairfax! is so proud to host at this year’s festival.

General admission is available for all performances; shows are free with daily tickets to the event. Advance tickets go on sale April 1st at and May 1st at all Northern Virginia Wegmans locations.

The 35th annual Celebrate Fairfax! Festival is a presentation of Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. and will be held Friday, June 10th through Sunday, June 12th, 2016. Celebrate Fairfax, Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c) 3 organization commissioned in 1982 by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Its mission, “The Celebration of Fairfax County and Its Communities,” is met through the production of the Celebrate Fairfax! Festival, Fall for Fairfax KidsFest, The Workhouse BrewFest, and educational programs such as Celebrate Fairfax CV+ Event Training Program. For more information call (703) 324-3247 or visit the website at

Friday, March 11, 2016

Random Ramblings

- On Tuesday evening, I received the following text:

FREE MSG: Chase Fraud-Did you use card ending #### for $1397.94 at a computer hard/software co. on 03/08? If YES reply 1, NO reply 2

I thought this was a spam text but they got the last four numbers of my credit card correct, so I figured that I would call my credit card company. Sure enough, this was not spam. Someone tried to use my credit card and fortunately was denied. I have no idea how someone got my credit card number, particularly since this is one I rarely use. Other than an $8 purchase that same day at Safeway and paying $10 for a visit to a doctor's office on Monday, 3/7, I hadn't used the credit card in weeks. My last bill for this credit card was less than $50. Anyway, I paid a $10 balance to a doctor's office/walk-in clinic on Monday by phone, and my theory is that someone there used the number. I have no proof to substantiate this, but that's my theory. Anyway, good job Chase on taking care of this immediately. Chase is on the case!

- Pizza Hut is giving away free pizza for a year on Monday, 3/14 for Pi Day.

In partnership with acclaimed mathematical genius John H. Conway, distinguished professor of pure and applied mathematics emeritus, Princeton University, and in honor of "National Pi Day" on March 14, Pizza Hut will release three math problems on its Hut Life blog ( with a unique challenge to consumers and mathematic wizards everywhere: be the first person to solve and submit the correct answer to any one of the problems for a chance to receive 3.14 years of free pizza from Pizza Hut. Varying in level of difficulty from high school to PhD level, all three problems will be released at 8 a.m. ET.

I'm going to have little (okay no) chance of successfully answering these math questions. It would be much easier if I could just be one of the first people in line at a Pizza Hut restaurant like I did for California Tortilla and Corner Bakery.

- I suggest checking out these two articles/videos from Yahoo and Serious Eats about Pittsburgh. Makes me nostalgic to visit my hometown.

- I'm working my first games of the spring season as a soccer referee over the weekend. Let's see how out of shape I am after doing no exercise (other than occasionally sprinting for the bus) over the last 3+ months.

- Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers are performing at Jammin' Java in nearby Vienna, Virginia on Saturday. I'm sorry Pittsburgh's Own Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers are performing in nearby Vienna, Virginia on Saturday. Not sure why Joe needs Pittsburgh's Own in front of his name. Does that help sell more tickets? Actually, maybe I can have Joe help me with my Pittsburgh Festival in DC idea!

- Finally, if you haven't already seen it, please check out my interview with the Pittsburgh Penguins' Gamenight DJ from earlier this week.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Interview With the Penguins' Gamenight DJ

Last month, I wrote a blog post about Nicholas' successful campaign to get the Pittsburgh Penguins to change their goal song to Andrew W.K.'s Party Hard. Surprisingly, someone still reads my blog occasionally, saw this post, and asked if I would be interested in interviewing Vinny Karpuszka, the team's gamenight DJ. The answer was a resounding yes.

So here is my interview with Vinny who was extremely gracious in responding to my questions.

First, how did you become the Penguins game night DJ?

A lot of luck and knowing the right people. Back in 2006 I joined the local audiovisual/broadcast technicians union and as my luck would have it I caught word that the Penguins were looking to bring a couple of fresh faces onto their in-game entertainment crew. I mentioned this to one of the guys I was working with at the time and he said “well I run the audio board for them, I’ll put in a good word for you”. A few days later I got a phone call from the guy who did the crewing saying I got a “glowing” recommendation and would I be interested in training to be the new DJ. I said yes and here I am today.

What exactly are your job duties at the Penguins DJ? I'm sure it's more than just press play on a song during a stop in play.

Pretty much all of my job requirements revolve around the music that is played at the game. I load all the music files into the software that I use, Click Effects ProAudio, and from there I’ll set in and out points for each song and then make sure the audio levels are peaking at the right spots. I’ll queue up songs for during walk-in, in-game promo reads, tv time-outs, intermission, and whistle stoppages. I create and edit the warm-up playlists and if there isn’t a clean version of a song we want to play I’ll edit that as well.

I also have an Instant Replay 360 machine that I use for sound effects and a few other show elements. I submix myself on a 12 channel audio console that is fed to the main audio board in the control room, which is then fed to the house.

What is your typical game day look like? Specifically, how early do you arrive before the game and how long after the game do you leave?

I get to the rink 4 hours before puck-drop. Every game my producer prints out a format that lists every element we'll be running throughout the game. I'll go through the format and queue up the songs I'm going to use for those elements, and then I'll get my free-whistle songs ready as well. I'll then build my walk-in playlist and if I have some prep time left over I'll browse through Spotify to try and find new songs to use. After that we have our crew meeting, rehearse a couple of in-game elements, and then we have our dinner break. I'm back up in my spot about 10 minutes before doors open. After the game is over I play a couple of walk-out songs, turn off my gear, gather my personal things, and I'm out the door. Typically if it's a 7pm game, I'm out of the building a little after 10pm.

My friend Nicholas started a campaign to get the Penguins to use Andrew W.K.'s Party Hard as the goal song. Were you involved in making this decision?

No, I was not involved. That decision went all the way up the corporate ladder. Seriously. A lot of us on the gamenight staff were well aware of everything that was going on on Twitter in regards to getting the goal song changed to “Party Hard” but I think everyone of us never thought it would actually happen.

Another friend and I are trying to attend hockey games at each NHL city. We're more than half-way through. Anyway, I've noticed that rock is the predominant music played at most venues. So this is a long way of asking how much input do you have in the type of music you play? If Mario comes by, says he's feeling nostalgic for home and wants you to play some French-Canadian lullaby, would you have to play it?

Well he is the boss, so to answer your question, yes, I would, haha.

I do have some input into the music selection, yes. I have a great working relationship with my producer and he trusts me to play the music that’s expected from management without having to look over my shoulder and tell me what to play.

I’m not surprised to hear that rock music dominates NHL arenas. In my opinion, hockey and heavy metal are a perfect match. The speed and aggression of metal totally compliments the sport of hockey; it’s like chocolate and peanut butter.

I've seen that DJ Bonics sometimes serves as a guest DJ for Pens games. What is your relationship with him? Do you have a rivalry at all?

My producer books him from time to time to liven things up a bit. It adds variety. I like it. I’ve never met him but I hear he’s a great person, and he’s having a lot of success right now being Wiz Khalifa’s live DJ, so good for him. He’s an actual DJ, you know what I mean? He’s syncs beats and time signatures, reads and reacts to the crowd, acts as a hype man, scratches records and creates loops...he’s a performer. That’s what a real DJ is. I like to think of myself as a music director: I’m picking a song to match the mood of the game at that given moment.

Do you have a favorite moment or memory at a Pens game? (Mine is attending game seven of the Penguins-Sabres playoff series in Buffalo where Darius Kasparaitis scored the game-winning OT goal.)

The most memorable game I ever worked was Game 1 of the 2008 opening round series against Ottawa. The year before that in ‘07 Ottawa was a juggernaut and bounced the Pens in 5 games. Fans were disappointed but weren’t surprised just because almost the entire team never experienced playoff hockey before and everyone seemed just happy to be there. But in ‘08 the Pens were rolling and Ottawa was coming into the playoffs with no momentum at all.

So back in the Mellon Arena days, and currently at CEC, the main usher will blow a whistle to let everyone know that the doors are now open to the public. I swear, that night of Game 1 against Ottawa in ‘08, when that whistle blew, you could feel the energy. I’m not kidding dude, it was something else. You know that saying “there was electricity in the air”? Well maybe it was the old, faulty wiring of Mellon Arena I felt, but goddamn it man, I felt something. That building was alive the second they opened the doors. As soon as fans hit the seats you could feel the buzz, and this was 90 minutes. before the opening faceoff.

Anyway, Gary Roberts scored like 20 seconds into the game and it was pandemonium after that.

Finally, do you get to hang out with Mike Lange at all?

I’ve ridden the elevator with him a couple times, does that count? I’ve never really talked to him but everything I hear about him and how he is as a person is extremely positive. The local media and team employees refer to him as “Hall Of Famer” for good reason.

Thanks again to Vinny for sharing great answers about his job. You can also follow him on Twitter at @theironmoth though don't expect any inside news when he's on the job. According to Vinny, "I mainly just retweet pro wrestling gifs and other stupid stuff, but every once in a while I'll put up a link to some metal I'm currently enjoying."

You can also see Vinny's playlist from the Penguins' March 4th game.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Flavor Flav Does The Weather

Every four years, I post a video where we all see what happens when Flavor Flav has a microphone. For some reason, Flav recently did the weather for a Salt Lake City television station. This is the result:

I think I know what he's sayin'. In case you don't remember the video from 2012, here is Flavor Flav narrating fireworks at Celebrate Fairfax. Yes, you read that correctly. Oh, there's some NSFW language around the 10:00 or 11:00 minute mark. The man likes his fireworks!

Stay tuned to my next Flavor Flav video in 2020!

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Casting Call for The $100,000 Pyramid

Is there anyone that has more high profile jobs than Michael Strahan? The retired football star serves as the co-host of the talk show Live! with Kelly and Michael. He also regularly (if not daily) appears on Good Morning America, and during the football season, Strahan is part of FOX NFL Sunday. Clearly Strahan doesn't have enough to do since he will host the ABC's "The $100,000 Pyramid" this summer.

For those of you who don't remember this show when it was hosted by Dick Clark (yes, it was hosted by others, but I associate the show with him), "Pyramid is a classic American television game show franchise that has aired several versions domestically and internationally. The game features two contestants, each paired with a celebrity. Players attempt to guess a series of words or phrases based on descriptions given to them by their teammates."

So now is your chance to be a contestant. To apply, go to You'll need to make a video, but I know you can do it!

If you have any questions or interest, you can also contact casting producer Sami Blumenthal at castingpyramid[at]

Good luck!

Oh, if you want to see Tony Randall saying a swear word on the $10,000 Pyramid, here you go:

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Donald Trump Is Going To Be President

What a scary headline. The American political system has become extremely partisan with little getting done in Washington, so many voters are looking for a political outsider. Donald Trump with his celebrity status and his "I'm saying what I want to say" style is appealing to a lot of people. As I'm writing this on Tuesday evening, The Washington Post declared Trump the Republican winner in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Virginia. Sure Ted Cruz took Oklahoma and Texas, and Marco Rubio won Minnesota but the Senators from Texas and Florida, respectively, are well behind Trump in the overall delegate count. Mathematically, it seems unlikely that either candidate has any chance of catching Trump. Seriously, how many states is Trump going to lose? Maybe Rubio can take Florida and perhaps Governor Kasich can win his home state of Ohio, but Trump seems unstoppable in capturing the delegate count to receive the nomination.

I'm sure you're thinking, um Sean, doesn't Hillary Clinton have something to say in the general election? Well yes, but let's look at the map.

I really like this map even if it was used for an ad campaign. Anyway, let's look at the United States map.

Probably 40 states are already decided in November. The Democratic candidate will take California, Vermont, Massachusetts, etc. The Republican candidate will win Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, etc. Really, you're looking at around 10 states (the usual suspects of Florida, Ohio, etc.) to decide the election. I'm obviously not sharing anything new. What will be interesting is how the Republican establishment, which appears to despise Trump, responds. Unless they can create some type of coop and a brokered convention (now that would make some terrific television!), what are they going to do come November? How can they go against the will of the party voters? Plus, think about how many Congressional hearings there have been about Bengazi and Clinton's emails. You think that the Republican establishment is all of a sudden going to support Clinton over Trump? I think not. They also know that another conservative third party candidate would essentially give Clinton the White House. After all the time fighting Obama and Clinton and all of the hours of FOX News coverage against the former Senator and Secretary of State, they are reluctantly going to support Trump as the lesser of two evils in their minds.

So it's really going to come down to voter turnout. And that's where Trump has done extremely well. There was record turnout in Virginia on Tuesday as there was in Iowa and other states during this campaign season. People are voting that never have before. Will Clinton be able to inspire the Democratic base and get enough Independents in Virginia, Florida and North Carolina to win the election? As of today, my guess is no.

I'll close with sharing this amazing John Oliver video since it truly is "must watch." Please note that there is some NSFW language.