Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Could This Be My Future?

To those that know my earliest career path desires this should be interesting.
I just got done studying for a final that I have tomorrow morning, so to relax a bit I decide to take 10 minutes to read the papers back in Orlando and Miami before getting some sleep. In the Miami Herald I came across a paragraph in this story that I feel might lend some insight into my future. Here’s the relevant part:

“a graduate of the University of Michigan law school, Kaplan gave up a successful law practice in 1984 after he tired of dealing with complex real estate transactions and construction law cases. He then nearly died of a ruptured appendix during a Las Vegas vacation before returning to South Florida to pursue his new dream of becoming a sportscaster.”

Nagging desire to eventually work in sports journalism? Check.
Law school graduate: Probably in a year and a half.
Successful law practice: Hopefully.
Ruptured appendix: Not if I can avoid it.
Vegas vacation: Certainly.
Inexplicably following a dream in the future: To be determined.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Finals Time

I'm in the midst of finals, thankfully this will all be done in just one short week.
Anyway, I hope to put up my analysis of the Randy Shannon hiring sometime in the next couple days. Needless to say I'm happy.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Happy 50th Larry!

Today is December 7th, time once again to wish the best basketball player ever a happy birthday.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This post is simply a quick break from preparing for finals.

For anyone who’s wondering about who I think should replace Larry Coker (now that my one true Christmas wish was granted and he was fired the day after Thanksgiving) I’ll give you my answer. If I have to choose one candidate right now I’d go with Randy Shannon, our defensive coordinator. Of course, that is assuming that we’d clean house on the offensive side of the ball by firing almost all of the remaining offensive assistant coaches brought in by Coker and replace them with the best new offensive staff we can find.

One persistent rumor is that Texas Tech coach Mike Leach will get the job. I can live with that also, given the fact that Leach is an offensive genius, but I really hope that under that scenario UM finds a way to keep Shannon at defensive coordinator.

While I would prefer Shannon if I had to choose between the two, Mike Leach does have come interesting characteristics that I find quite interesting. 1) He’s one of only 3 coaches in college football who didn’t play football in college. 2) He’s got a law degree. It’s nice to see there is employment for me out there somewhere after graduation, even if it’s as a football coach.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Do you like Jesus? Do you like Rocky also?

If, like me, you said yes to both those questions (and even if you didn’t) click this link.
It’s a web site with tons of free material about religious themes in the upcoming Rocky Balboa (A.K.A. Rocky 6). I’m really impressed with the stuff on the site. First off, go to this page and watch the “Keeping the Faith” trailer, it’s the best compilation video of the first 5 films I’ve ever seen. If for some reason you haven’t seen all 5 previous films by December 22nd watch this before you see Rocky 6. Secondly there’s a really interesting interview with Stallone on this page .
Robbie, Kim, I expect you to implement these materials into your church’s programs immediately. Danny, how about you and I start some sort of research paper for publication?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I believe it can get no better

So, I’m watching football while studying for finals, I look up to the TV and see a commercial for the Superman dvd. Then, immediately after that I see a commercial for the release of the new 2 disc collectors edition of Rocky. It’s as though I’m controlling the entertainment industry.
First a new Superman movie on June 30th and now a new Rocky film coming up on December 22…just thinking about it almost makes me tear up.

There is one down side to this though. I don’t think that I’ll ever be more excited about movie and dvd releases than I am right now. Seriously, I have to be at an entertainment mountain top that I will never be able to reach again. It has to go down from here, there’s no way that I’ll ever have these two franchises release new films and dvds within 8 months of each other…unllleeesss…..Rocky 7 anyone????????

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Late Night (or early morning) Ego Surfing

I started this blog so people could figure out my schedule back in the Summer of 2005. I have kept it up so my family and friends wouldn’t have to do without random ramblings after I moved to Pittsburgh (whether this is truely a service to the ones I love is highly debatable). Given the public nature of the internet I figured the blog might have been stumbled upon by a few other people, perhaps even linked to in a place or two, but I never bothered to check. Until tonight.

I just did a little search of my blog’s name on Google and found a few links. Most were law school friends and the like, however there was one surprise. My favorite sports blog, and probably the best sports blog on the internet, Deadspin.com linked to my June 24th post on the utterly hilarious Miami Heat championship celebration. Here’s Deadspin’s post linking back here to my humble blog. To put into perspective why I think this is so cool, if you search the term “Sports blog” on Google Deadspin will be the 4th page listed. Anyway, I guess I can cross “get referenced by one of my favorite blogs” off my list of things to do before I die. I'm also wondering if this counts as a fulfillment of my childhood dream of becoming a sports writer.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Simple Economics

Sony released the Playstation 3 today and it resulted in violence among those waiting in line to get a system. People want a PS3 so bad that they are paying around $2,000 per system on Ebay. Sony is only charging $600 for a product that has people charging electronics stores like crazed mobs. Also Sony is losing $300 on every system sold.

I may be just a lowly law student, but something’s wrong here. I understand Sony’s economic model, they’ll make up all the money lost on these new systems with the sale of video games and accessories to go with the system. It’s the same economic model used by all video game manufacturers and is always wildly profitable for Sony. Even though this model works I just hate to see a company leave money on the table. Sony, since there are more than enough people willing to pay you $2,000 for your system, how about pricing it so you at least break even on release day next time. You’ll save yourself some money and might save the lives of some gamers.

While we're on the topic of video games I'll take the time to state that the next system I buy will be Nintendo's Wii. Sony and Microsoft have released 2 impressive systems, but the Wii's controllers and gameplay look like they'll be the most revolutionary thing to hit video games since the first Playstation. Here's the Wii's official website so you can see what I'm so excited about.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

New Rocky Preview

There's a new preview up for Rocky 6 . I know there's a long line of people waiting to take shots at this movie just because it's the sixth in the series, but it looks like it's going to be great. For anyone who thinks that the plot is too far fetched just look at the current heavyweight division and tell me that it wouldn't be possible for a guy over 50 to still be a contender.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pata & Politics

Rest In Peace Bryan Pata:
Since the last post UM’s football season got a lot worse, it didn’t get worse because of something as meaningless as a loss to Maryland, it got worse in a way that actually matters as defensive lineman Bryan Pata was murdered in his apartment’s parking lot. Pata was one of the few Canes who had actually improved his NFL Draft status this year, more importantly he sounded like a really good guy. I don’t just mean that people have been saying great things about him because he died, you can’t just make up on the spot the amount of praise his friends and family heaped on him in the media.
Also, I’d like to commend 2 other universities on handling Pata’s murder with particular class over the weekend. First off, the University of Maryland held a moment of silence before their game with Miami, as well as wearing the same #95 tribute stickers on their helmets as the Canes had. On top of that the Maryland football players gave their per diem pay for gameday food to the Pata family in a truely classy act. The other schoold that deserves to be commended is Florida State. They also wore the #95 stickers in tribute to Pata during their game with Wake Forrest. Pata’s brother is a walk on senior on FSU’s team.

So, at a time like this when even arch rivals are putting aside their differences I figured the media would take a temporary break from characterizing the U with stereotypes that haven’t been relevant for a decade. To the media’s credit I must admit that they did do this, with one classless exception. Before Pata’s mom had the chance to bury her son Mike Celizic of MSNBC wrote an article about how this incident would serve as a great time for the University of Miami to reevaluate itself and the kids it recruits. The problem is that we’ve already done that, 10 years ago, and we were successful in becoming the best team in the nation (until recently) while also having the least off the field incidents of any powerhouse team in America. For example:
-We just came off of a 4 stint of having no players arrested, sadly most decent teams can’t make that claim.
-Our 2005 team graduated 21 players, that was a total higher than any other team.
-Our 2004 graduation rate was 84%, the national average was 58%.
Despite all this there’s still at least one guy in the media who finds it necessary to take shots at a program that has become the example of what all major college football programs should strive to be and at a time when the team is still grieving their teammate and friend. It’s things like this that make me wish we didn’t even bother to clean up the program in the first place, at least then we’d deserve the rebuke the media loves to heap on us.
Before I finish this rant here are a couple of links you should check out. First, Celizic’s article can be found here.
And, more importantly here’s an interview with Celizic on the Dan Le Batard show. Dan basicly lets the guy know how stupid he is, so it’s good listening.

I’ve got a few things to say about the elections, but I’ll try to keep them short.

-Back to checks and balances:
In Bush’s time as president he has only vetoed one bill. This is in large part due to Republican domination of the House and Senate. Let’s face it, as president when people in your party are sending bills up to you there’s rarely any reason to veto anything, they get their add on spending packages and you get to pass legislation you wanted anyway. My main problem with this lack of vetoes is that it has led to Republicans being able to get any pet spending project passed by putting it into a bill as a rider. Riders will be a problem no matter what party is in power, but having a split in power between the legislative and executive branches should at least slow this down.

-Conservative Democrats:
Wow, you’re really got to hand it to Howard Dean. A lot of people don’t like him, but his plan to wage an election in all 50 states has really made progress. This became truly clear to me when I heard that Heath Shuler had won a seat in the House as a Democrat. This really surprised me because Heath is a Conservative Christian. Sure, the Dems already had some rather conservative people in their party, your Joe Leiberman and the like, but people like Heath are different, he’s spoken in Southern Baptist churches, he’s the quintessential conservative Christian whom you’d expect to have an “R” in front of his name. His social stances read like a Republican platform even. I’m not sure exactly what this means, but I do find the conservative Democrat phenomenon intriguing.

-What difference between the parties?
This observation is linked to the one above. If we’ve got a lot of new Democrats that look like Republicans, and many prominent Republicans who look like Democrats (Arnold, Giuliani) exactly what is it that engenders party loyalty in Republicans and Democrats. It seems more and more like professional sports where you're really just cheering for a uniform and a logo since the players are basically interchangeable.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Last Chance to Save a Season

UM's game in on national television tonight. In the grand scheme of college football it's a meaningless game. There are no national, conference, or divisional championship ramifications. However for the Canes it is is big game, it's the last chance to save some face. Up to this point we've been a team that couldn't win against a decent opponent and got into a stupid brawl against against a team that is anything but decent. A win tonight against a ranked Virginia Tech team is the only thing that can keep the program relevant. The game just kicked off, here's hoping we see a different team than we've seen up to now.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Who’s In?

Alright guys, I’ve got a question for you. Who wants to go to California? Why do I aks? Because I have decided that there are times in life when you must seize the moment and do something before the opportunity passes you by. The opportunity I’m referring to is the opportunity to be at a live taping of The Price is Right and possibly even get picked to play. With Bob Barker announcing that he’ll be retiring in June of next year I’ve decided that between now and then I’ve got to get to get to LA and attend a taping. So, who’s in with me?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Red Auerbach 1917-2006

"Red Auerbach was one of the most influential people in my life. Not only was he an inspiration to me throughout my career, he became a close friend as well. There could only be one Red Auerbach and I'll always be grateful for having the opportunity to experience his genius and his dedication to winning through teamwork."
-Larry Bird’s statements regarding Red Auerbach after learning of his death

Red was one of my favorite figures in sports. There was something about the way he handled himself that seemed to ooze confidence. While almost all sports figures have their fare share of confidence Red was one of the few who had accomplished enough to unquestionably justify his self assured disposition. He created the very definition of a basketball dynasty. He also did more than anyone else to break the color barrier in basketball by signing and playing the first black player, Chuck Cooper, in NBA history, being the first coach to have an all black starting 5, and signed Bill Russell to be the NBA’s first black coach when he retired from the Celtics bench.

I’ve often referred to the swagger that I like to see in the UM football team. Of non-Cane sports figures I’ve only seen this swagger in 2 people, one is Joey Porter and the other was Red. One of the best examples of this is how he responded to Chris Wallace asking him “in today’s politically correct climate, with no smoking allowed in the NBA arenas, would you still be able to light up your famous victory cigar at the end of a victory?” Red’s response “of course, who’s going to stop me?”

I’ve always felt it important to try and study successful figures of the past in an effort to understand what they did to achieve this success. This is in large part why, even though I wasn’t even close to being born when he built most of his legacy, Red’s autobiographies are still some of my favorite books. On top of all his accomplishments he came off as a decent person to me in my only interaction with him, he actually took the time to reply to a letter I sent to him when I was 12 years old.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Now That’s Putting a Law Degree to Good Use

Congratulations to Tony La Russa and the St. Louis Cardinals on winning the World Series. La Russa, the Cardinals manager, has a law degree from Florida State. Sure, he could have picked a better school, but it’s cool to see a law school graduate making something of himself nonetheless.

The picture is from his 1987 Topps baseball card. At that point in time I was but a small child who loved the Oakland A's because they had Jose Canseco and Mark McGuire. Also the 1987 Topps baseball card series is my favorte series of all time.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Stained Carpet? Try Peroxide.

The only thing that I don’t find all that attractive about the house I’m living in right now is the living room carpet. It’s not terrible, it’s just a little bit old and has a few stains from pets that previous renters had. Fortunately, with a couple of well placed rugs most of these stains are easily hidden. Today I was cleaning up around the house and I decided I’d try to do the seemingly impossible, remove the stains that had been there for who knows how long. Since I had previously tried a few commercial products on the stains I knew I’d have to try something different. After a little online research I settled on giving hydrogen peroxide a shot. So, I soaked the most annoying, and largest, stain with peroxide, let it sit for about 5 minutes and then dabbed the wet area until it was as dry as I could get it. It is now 12 hours later and I am proud to say that the living room carpet has one fewer stain than it did before. Looks like I’ll be spending my weekend dousing my carpet with peroxide.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fire. Coker. NOW.

Update: After I wrote this post I found a quote from Larry Coker that shows he has completely lost his mind. I defy you to make sense of this comment from Larry Coker about the fight: ``I think that it will affect the image of our program greatly, but in a positive way . . . I think that when they see the video and they see how it was handled they will be impressed with our players.'' Here’s the source

Watch any sports program in the next couple days and I’m sure you’ll see yet another reason why it’s time for Larry Coker’s tenure to end at the University of Miami. Miami got into what can only best be described as a street fight with FIU. There’s a lot to say about this so I’ll have to break up my thoughts a little bit.
- There are some player who should never be allowed to play at Miami again because of their actions during the fight. Getting to go to UM on a scholarship is a privilege not to be taken lightly, I know because I did it (although mine was academic, not athletic).
- Why are we fighting with FIU, they’re 0-6? Yeah, I know it’s got a lot to do with it being a cross town rivalry and the players on both teams have been playing each other since high school, but that’ s still no excuse. With a team that’s as bad as FIU once you score there’s no reason to bother with trash talk, just score on them and act like they aren’t even significant enough to evoke a response from you. Back in the day UM would win the fights before, during, and after the game, but these fights were against teams that were great, not some upstart team from across the street that hasn’t even won a game yet this year.
- Larry Coker’s has gotten too much credit for his skill as a coach for years, that for sure. Now, it’s clear that he’s gotten too much credit for running such a clean program also. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we’ve lost all discipline as a program, Coker’s suspensions for the FSU game show that, but it’s also really obvious that the character of the guys in the UM uniforms overall is not where it was 5 years ago. I could go on about this for hours, but this post from the allcanes.com blog explains in better detail what I’m talking about.
- I’ve said before on this blog that Miami might as well not even bother running such a squeaky clean program since any time a UM player does anything remotely wrong everyone in the program is branded a thug. So why does this fight bother me? Because we’re out of the top 25 and being thugs. When you’re dominating the nation and being thugs, ala the Canes of the 80s and 90s, it’s called swagger. When you’re out of the top 25 and getting into fights with meaningless opponents it’s called stupid and disgraceful.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Life’s Little Conveniences

So, I bought a box of popsicles the other day when Angelina had a sore throat. The box had 4 different colors, yellow, red, purple, and orange. As it turns out Angelina’s favorite colors of popsicle are yellow and orange, mine happen to be purple and red. Every color in the box gets eaten, it’s so perfect.

Enough with the mushy stuff, on to business:
Google bought Youtube today. I think that it’s a pretty risky move by google given that youtube doesn’t exactly have a product that can’t be duplicated. Sure, youtube is far and away the best site for streaming video, however it’s not like another site, or google themselves, couldn’t have bettered their video streaming capabilities (in google’s case they could have done this without having to shell out over a billion dollars). However, some may say that even if other sites are able to duplicate youtube’s ability to convieniently stream video they couldn’t duplicate the brand loyalty built up in the youtube name. The problem with that argument is that is that there is already some backlash on youtube as they are being seen as owned by “the man” (I personally don’t know when or how google became “the man” but that’s for another post), as an example here’s a comment from msnbc’s discussion board:

“I Can't really fault the folks at YouTube for taking the money — most people would. But I think this deal will probably lead to YouTube becoming irrelevant. That is, it will mostly likely require a user fee that most people won't want to pay, or be covered in splashy ads. Either way, it will turn into just another corporate entity that pretends to be hip. The coolness of YouTube was that it was a maverick and was kind of "for the people," "by the people" without a lot of corporate nonsense. No more.”

For better and more ellequent commentary on this topic (that has probably been proofread at least once, unlike this post) click the Mark Cuban link in the top right corner and read his last couple blogs.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I'm Moving Back to Florida to Work for this Firm

Check out this video, I really like this guy's no-nonsense style. At first I thought it was a joke, but then I saw that there really is a website for them, and it's hillarious too.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Thank You Sharon

I just got this in an email from my friend Sharon. Personally I don't know how people can think of American history any other way.


Benedict Arnold
Despite having dispatched each of their opponents, the tag team ofGeorge Washington and Benedict Arnold is not a harmonious entity.Arnold feels that Washington is gaining too much individual credit forthe tag team's success. Before that night's match, hidden camerascatch Arnold shaking hands with their opponent, King George. WhenWashington gets in trouble during the match, he goes to tag in Arnold,but instead Arnold slaps him in the face. The match degenerates into athree-on-one until Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys race to thering to save Washington.

Mexican-American War
A supremely popular and confident James K. Polk comes to the ring andsays he has achieved everything he wanted except winning a title beltfrom the utterly deplorable Santa Anna. At this incitement, Santa Annawalks out showered by boos. Santa Anna says that Polk can't have thebelt, that it belongs to him and he refuses to relinquish it. Polkasks Santa Anna, "Whatcha gonna do when the United States of Americaruns wild over you!" At that point, Polk's cronies, Zachary Taylor andWinfield Scott, ambush Santa Anna. With Santa Anna sufficientlydebilitated, Polk delivers the final blow and takes what he believesrightfully belongs to him.

World War II
FDR. Churchill. Stalin. Hitler. Mussolini. Tojo. Steel Cage. Availableon pay-per-view for $39.95.

A feud begins between Richard Nixon and two nonconformists, Woodwardand Bernstein, when "the Journalists" embarrass Nixon in front of fansin Tacoma, Washington. Nixon seeks revenge against the two and forcesthem to fight enforcers G. Gordon Liddy and Bob Haldeman. In themiddle of the match, though, Haldeman quits, and Woodward and
himself with one stipulation—the loser must leave the business! Nixonpulls out all the tricks, going as far as to use a plunger as aweapon. "The Journalists" gain an advantage eventually when a maskedman, known only as Deep Throat, enters the ring, and are ultimatelyvictorious. After the match, Nixon dejectedly walks away, pausing fora minute to say goodbye to his friends.

2000 Election
George Bush and Al Gore meet in the squared circle for thechampionship title. It's a back-and-forth match. Gore gains the upperhand and hits his finishing move, the Global Warmer. But, as Gore goesfor the cover, William "the Chief" Rehnquist rushes to the ringcarrying a steel chair. With the referee distracted by Laura Bush,Rehnquist knocks Gore over the head with the chair. Bush goes for thecover and wins the belt. The show ends with an incredulous announcerscreaming, "George W. Bush is champion, but I don't know if hedeserves it!"

2008 Election
The fans have been told to expect a monumental announcement from worldchampion George Bush and anxiously wait. When Bush finally emergesfrom backstage, the crowd begins to loudly boo and deride him withjeers. Ignoring the commotion, Bush begins to reminisce about thesignificance of his title reign and how he brought glory and honor tothe profession. He then announces to the stunned crowd that he will behanding his title over to his sidekick, "the Doc" Bill Frist. Frist,Bush explains, will continue to seek out those whose only wish is todestroy the sport of wrestling. It is at that moment that twowrestlers appear, united, in the ring. John Edwards, supported byHillary Clinton, voices his opposition to Bush\'s plan. Bush laughs atthe duo and mockingly inquires, "What are you going to do about it?"Such a question catches the group off guard, and, while they arediscussing a potential plan, Frist superkicks Edwards. The ring clearsas Edwards struggles to his feet and attempts to get to the middle ofthe ring. As he squares off against Frist, the crowd begins to booagain, this time louder, once it becomes apparent that neitherwrestler possesses the talent to be an effective champion.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Whoa There Oprah!

Okay, a few posts ago I gave you guys my fantasy pick for the ultimate Presidential ticket in ’08, the Cuban/Winfrey ticket. Well, it’s a good thing that I didn’t take my wish too seriously because Oprah might have sued me. Don’t believe me? Check out this story. I love it, it’s got presidential politics and intellectual property law all rolled into one.
Click here to see the paperwork Oprah’s lawyers filed.

Also, if you think I’m disappointed that one of my dream candidates won’t be running you’d be wrong. I picked Oprah and Mark Cuban largely because, in addition to agreeing with many of their positions, they’ve both said they don’t like politics and wouldn’t run for president. I figure that so long as none of my wishes come true nobody can hold me accountable for being wrong.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Finally an update!

Okay, a lot has happened since the last update. Here’s a few quick answers to commonly asked questions:

School: Is going well. Most of my classes are with adjunct professors (professors who are actually currently practicing lawyers). So far I like the adjuncts much better than professors who haven’t practiced in years. Sure, every now and then an adjunct will go on for 20 minutes telling a story about a case they’re doing/have done, and yeah, these story’s won’t be on the final exam, but they do give some tips for the practical application of the law.

UM Football: Larry Coker needs to be fired. Now. Put Randy Shannon, our defensive coordinator, in as head coach and see what he can do with the rest of the season. Shannon is one of the best assistant coaches in America and should already have a head coaching job by now, so why not see if he’s the right guy for our job. The fact that he isn’t a head coach somewhere already is pretty good evidence that racism is still a factor in college football head coach hirings (Shannon is black).

Now, since the last update I’ve found a couple great new sources of entertainment. 1st is the show Ace of Cakes on Food Network. It’s about a small bakery in Maryland that makes unbelievably huge cakes with great deatail. However, the people who run the bakery are even more entertaining than the cake themselves, which is saying something because the cake are awesome. Though, the thing about the show that really stands out to me is how much it reminds me of working at Photograph-X. So, if you ever wondered what my workdays were like just watch this show. I’ll paraphrase one of my favorite lines from the show as an example.

Duff (bakery owner): Man, it’s Wednesday night and we’ve still got 14 cakes to do by the end of Friday.
Mary Alice (receptionist extraordinaire): Well…maybe the cake fairies will come in tonight and do them.
Geoffrey (cake baker guy): Well, it’s happened before.

What’s great is that if you replace the word “cake” with “tshirt” you have an exact conversation between Mike, Beth, and myself circa 2001. Here’s the website for the show that has more info and a schedule of upcoming shows.

Lastly, on the first day of Intellectual Property class our professor told us about a great site. The site is http://www.patentlysilly.com/ and it is a catalogue of some of the stupidest, or funniest, inventions ever to be filed at the patent office. Go ahead, click the link, hours of fun await you, I mean, where else could you see a Combined Pet Leash/Umbrella?

Pet Umbrella and Combined Pet Leash and Umbrella

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Is Political Gridlock the Only Way to Get Fiscal Conservatism Nowadays?

(I’d like to state that what is written in this post is just some rambling on a morning where I haven’t gotten enough sleep. Any flaws in grammar or logic should be considered with that in mind)

From what I’ve observed in my lifetime the most fiscally conservative our nation has been was during the last six years of the Clinton administration. Despite this the Democrats can’t lay claim to being the nation’s fiscal conservatives since what spurred Clinton’s conservatism was the Republicans taking control of Congress in 1994. This led to some knockdown-drag out fights between Clinton and the Republicans (anybody remember the Government shutdowns in 95’ and 96’?) but in the end these skirmishes helped result in balanced budgets and eventually a surplus (admittedly other things also played a role in creating the surplus, however the legislation passed at the time certainly was a large factor).

In the years since Clinton we’ve predominantly had the White House and Congress controlled by Republicans. As a result spending has spiraled out of control and 2 things have disappeared, the surplus and most of the political gridlock. While we hear all the time that the nation is more polarized than ever this has not translated into the same amount of gridlock as we had in the mid 90’s (possibly the only issue that has created the amount of fervor seen in the 90’s has been the filibuster issue regarding Supreme Court Justice nominations). Basically Bush has acted as a rubber stamp, using his veto only once on legislation, no matter what spending was attached to a bill.

At the end of the day the gridlock of the mid 90’s didn’t insure fiscally conservative governance, but was likely just a side effect of having a better balance of power within our government. The recent centralization of power within one party has probably played the biggest role in squandering the country’s financial security. In the end I don’t think it matters which party has control of the White House, just so long as the other party is in control of the Congress.

Random Thoughts

While setting up my fantasy football team for this season I indulged myself in a bit of fantasy politics. I came to the conclusion that if I could pick 2 Americans to run for President and Vice President in 2008 I would choose Mark Cuban and Oprah. I'm not sure which one I would prefer to be President and which one I'd like for Vice President, but either way I'd take it. This decision was arrived at in part by reading this story about Oprah's school in Africa and this post from deadspin about Cuban's favorite book from college.

Here’s a short but good entry over at the Cato Institute’s blog. In less than a page it gives a great example of why political party affiliation has become completely unimportant to me. The post talks about the role reversal of the Republican and Democratic parties in terms of fiscal conservatism, specifically over the issue of earmarked spending in legislation.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Update on Mid East Editorial Comics

That Iranian newspaper that said they'd have a Holocaust cartoon contest has actually gone through with there plans and is now displaying some of the comics. The article explains that the idea is to "test the West's tolerance for drawings about the Nazi killing of 6 million Jews in World War II." So far I have yet to hear of any riots as a result of these comics like the riots that came in the wake of the prophet Mohamed comics, so it looks like we in the west have passed this test of our tolerance.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Finally an Update!

I realize that it's been a while since I posted anything new. Life has been really crazy lately between finishing up the last week of work and moving. Speaking of the move, everything went well, though there are still plenty of boxes that need to be unpacked. Also, thanks to Rusted View for all the help during the move.
In other news; a company has developed a perfume that smells like cheese. I think I know what one of Angelina's Christmas gifts this year is going to be.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Taught by a Zombie? pitt law (in)competence strikes again

Click on the picture to make it bigger. Next, read the name listed as my professor in evidence class. Notice anything wrong? Give up? The problem is that Welsh White is currently dead. Despite that minor encumbrance pitt law thinks that he will be feeling well enough to teach next semester. I’m just curious to see how they pull this off.

My school seems to be having a very hard time coming to grips with Welsh’s death. Last spring he was also dead before the semester began, but this didn’t mean pitt was prepared for the ramifications of his death. Because they refused to acknowledge that one of their best professors was probably going to die pitt was left without a replacement for Welsh’s classes. This meant that they slapped two classes together, creating a class so large that the fire marshal demanded the transfer students be kicked out to get the room down to its legal occupancy. I must say that I was in favor of pitt showing Welsh respect by not removing him from the official spring schedule last year (which would have essentially said to him “we think your going to die”). However, I was even more in favor of showing the students who go to pitt some respect by having contingency plans ready just in case he died.

Anyway, all that annoyance is in the past. Well, it would be if pitt ran anywhere near as well as it should and didn’t have Welsh White teaching classes posthumously.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

In Case You Didn’t Believe Me The First Time

The picture above is from the alley next to my office. It’s the same alley that previously had trees hanging upside down from buildings and a guy living in a store front. Now it has a sinkhole. I’m from Florida, so sinkholes are nothing new to me. However, I must say that I was still a little surprised to see one in downtown Pittsburgh. This is just further proof for my previous post about the area of downtown I work in being the hub of bizarreness in Pittsburgh. Since that post I realized that I failed to mention a few of this area’s peculiarities.
- An infestation of Chefs: Within the 3 blocks where all this strangeness happens is a culinary school. Now, that alone isn’t weird, but around lunch time the streets are flooded with culinary students wearing their chef outfits. Some even keep the hat on. Don’t think that’s weird? Well then just imagine pushing through about 150 of these guys on your way to get a sub for lunch.
- Abortion Protesters: Once again, this is something I’m very used to seeing in Florida, but it’s still weird. They stand outside a Planed Parenthood every morning equipped with huge pictures of aborted fetuses. I can’t say that I disagree with them exercising their right to protest, I can’t even say I disagree with their use of dead fetus pictures in a protest, but doing it every morning seems rather stupid to me. Honestly all their protests have done is desensitize me to dead fetuses, so I think they’re hurting their cause. On a lighter note I do have to say that it was awkward to see and hear a guy holding a 4 foot picture of a dead fetus casually chatting about his family with a police officer who stands there to make sure nothing breaks out.
- Random Pierogis Walking Around: One day I was walking down the alley and out of nowhere I passed by two of the pierogis that race between innings at Pirates games. Why were they there? I have no idea, but they were. Maybe it was a day game and they got really lost during the race. So that you’ll know what I’m talking about here’s a link to a picture of a pierogi race and here’s a link about pierogis in general.
- People Dressed Like Animals: Ok, this one counts for all of downtown, but I’ll include it anyway. A couple of weeks ago Pittsburgh was the home to a convention of furries, which are people that like to dress like animals. For a few days it was common to see somebody walking around in a full mascot outfit holding hands with a person wearing mouse ears and a tail. Rather than explain any further I’ll just direct you to this article about the convention.

So there you have it, conclusive proof that the office I work in is situated above some kind of magnet for weirdness.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

New House for Angelina and I to Consider

Here’s the new front runner in the Angelina-Adam house search. I’ll admit that the price sounds a little bit steep at first, but it is Hulk Hogan's old house, so I think that makes it a value at $25 Millon.

This Made Me Chuckle This Morning

Somebody spliced together clips from a State of the Union speech to make a music video of George Bush singing the U2 song Sunday Bloody Sunday.
Here's George's spliced together version
And here's a sample of the original
This, my friends, is what the internet was invented for. Thank you Al Gore.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Hilarious Stupidity in Championship Celebration

I’ve split this post into 2 parts, both have to do with rich people in Miami making fools out of themselves at the Miami Heat championship parade. If nothing else, be sure to listen to the audio in the link at the bottom of the post to hear audio of the first mistake and an interview with the guy who makes the mistake in the 2nd part.
Part 1:
There has been some discussion about whether the Committee to Give Dwayne Wade the Love He Deserves should disband now that it looks like the nation has finally caught on to his greatness. Well, thanks to a monumental mistake by a member of Miami’s city council I can assure everyone that the Committee must remain intact. At the championship parade in downtown Miami Dwayne Wade was introduced on the stage by some councilwoman as “Wade Jones.” The full introduction went something like this; “he’s calm and collected, has a will to win, because his name, OF COURSE, is WADE JONES!” The conviction with which she says “OF COURSE, WADE JONES” just takes it to another comedic level, and then you can hear the crowd wondering “who is she talking about” and then start laughing.
Part 2:
Heat Owner Micky Arison didn’t fare much better than the councilwoman who introduced D-Wade. Throughout the playoffs the Heat used the term “White Hot” as their marketing slogan. Arison went up to the podium and wanted to cap off his speech by telling Miami to “stay white hot.” Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Not if you’re Micky Arison. Instead he wound up telling all of Miami, the most culturally diverse city in America, to “stay white.” I cannot imagine any worse town in America to tell to “stay white”
Here’s an interview that my favorite sports radio program did latter in the day with Micky Arison talking about him telling Miami to "stay white" and it also includes audio of the councilwoman introducing "Wade Jones".

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Liberty City Sleeper Cell?

MSNBC.com is reporting that arrests were made today in Liberty City regarding a terrorist plot to attack the Sears Tower and possibly a Miami Federal Building. It’s kind of odd to think that my favorite Miami ghetto was a staging area for such malfeasance. At least it’s nice to know that the kids from Liberty City Middle School that I used to tutor are a little bit safer tonight. Well, at least a little safer by Liberty City standards anyway.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Say Hello to the New Face of the NBA

Back in 2004 I was called “retarded” by a friend of mine for claiming that Dwayne Wade was better than Carmelo Anthony and every bit as good as, if not better than, Lebron James. If by “retarded” my friend meant “completely right in every way” I guess he was right. Check out this line in the 6th game of the NBA Finals, on the road, to clinch the series;
36 Points, 10 Rebounds, 5 Assists, 4 Steals, and 3 Blocks, Finals MVP.
I was alone when I said it 3 years ago, but now the nation, nay the world, must agree;
Dwayne Wade is the Best Player in the NBA and Will Usher in the Next Golden Age for the NBA.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Forget Calling Him the Next Jordan. He’s the First Dwayne Wade.

Yeah, you read the title to this post right, D-Wade is the man.
42 points in game 3, followed by 36 points in game 4, followed by 43 points (and 17 in the 4th Quarter) in game 5. A player as young as Wade hasn’t had this large of an impact on an NBA Finals series since Magic Johnson filled in for Kareem and scored 42 back in game 7 of the 1980 Finals.
It appears that D-Wade has decided that he will single handedly win the Finals for the Miami Heat. If for some reason you have not been watching this almost superhuman display be sure to put Tuesday night at 9:00 on your calendar.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Pour Myself a Cup of Ambition.

I’m 2 weeks into my job and I really like it. For those who don’t know, my job mostly involves dealing with landlord and tenant issues and trying to get unemployment compensation for our clients. One of the best parts of the jobs is that I get a lot of client contact. In some ways I think this could be one of the more serious legal jobs I’ll have since many of the cases I handle decide whether or not a person or family gets to stay in their homes.

In addition to the substance of my job, the walk to work is pretty interesting also. One building over from where I work there is a guy who is living in a 3-sided glass store front apartment under 24/7 surveilance by 4 digital stream cameras. To see what I’m talking about go to www.lookinginlookingout.com. If you watch his webcam at the right time you might even see me staring in awkwardly at him while I’m on my lunch break.

In an alley on the way to my job there is another interesting installation, rather than explain it I’ll just show you a picture:

Here's an explanation of what's going on here

Lastly, I don’t have a picture of this one, but another building nearby is covered in fake grass as part of miniature golf course thing, I’ll try to get a picture and post it sometime this week. For now you can read this description

Lastly, anyone who knows what song I’m quoting in the title gets bonus points.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

R.I.P. John "Earthquake" Tenta

Sadly former professional wrestler John Tenta died today. Anybody my age who was a wrestling fan when they were a kid remembers Tenta for 2 things; He was the guy who came closer than anyone else to ending Hulkamania and also he squashed Jake “The Snake” Robert’s pet snake Damien (actually it was just a bunch of raw meat stuffed into pantyhose inside Jake's snake bag).
Here's a great retrospective of Tenta's career

For those wondering how my job is going, I love it. It's quite demanding, but even more rewarding.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Back to work and a Few Other Things

-First off happy Memorial Day to everybody and don’t let yourself forget why you got the day off.
-Well, I’m finally starting my job tomorrow. I’m not nervous or anything, actually I’m pretty excited to be working again after so long without a job. It has been a whole 3 weeks since finals ended so I’m feeling well rested.
-If you haven’t been watching the NBA playoffs then start watching tonight. Dwayne Wade has been slicing the Pistons apart and tonight his talents will be showcased on a national stage since the game is being broadcast on ABC.
-X-Men 3 doesn’t disappoint so check it out if you get the chance.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

A Few Observations From The First Day Back In The Gym

Yesterday I started lifting weights again for the first time in about four or five years. Even though I generally looked and felt like a guy who hadn’t lifted in a while I did notice that there is one benefit to being overweight, when you work out your legs you look almost superhuman. I guess that they’ve gotten used to lugging around so much weight they can’t help but to be strong.
Secondly, why is it that elliptical machines seem to only be used by women? I went back to the gym today to watch the first half of the Cavs – Pistons game while on an elliptical and I was the only guy using one. I can’t figure this out given that other guys apparently have no problem using a treadmill or stationary bikes, oh well.
Lastly, an observation from the NBA: I know he doesn’t fit well with the NBA’s hip hop image but I love ABC's use of Tom Petty music when going to commercials.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Insert Obvious Lame Joke Here.

I guess somebody took the term "packaging peanuts" a little too literally. Okay, feel free to bash me for how bad that joke was, I just couldn't help myself.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Luck, What a Cruel Mistress

While studying the other night I was wondering whether I should polish up my Constitutional Law outline a bit or randomly search online for 3rd circuit cases that may be relevant to the question we were going to be given on the final exam. I decided on polishing the outline, I’m still not sure if this helped at all. Read this posting on my friend’s blog to see the results of choosing the other option.
I think the comment left by my girlfriend sums things up perfectly:
"It's just like those choose your own adventure books...sometimes you find the castle and sometimes you fall down a pit. Only I used to keep my finger in the previous page so I could go back and choose again. So maybe it's not like that at all..."

Saturday, May 06, 2006

What Defines a Great Movie?

One standard I’ve always used to define if a movie is great is whether I have to finish watching it when I randomly find it on basic cable, despite the fact that I already own the movie on DVD. This morning, not too long after I started studying for my last final on Monday, I saw that TNT was running a Rocky marathon (Only I - IV though). Even though I had all of the DVDs sitting only about 6 feet away from me I couldn’t stop watching Rocky after Rocky on TNT. So, at the expense of my law school performance I have once again proven the greatness of the Rocky series.

Also as a side note, one of the perks of being me seems to be that any time a Rocky marathon is on at least one person will at attempt to (or successfully) contact me to make sure that I know about it. I’d like to thank Adam for keeping that streak alive today.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Continuing With the Cell Phone Theme…

There are certain things that I really enjoy in life. One of these things is hearing someone’s cell phone go off during class. This wasn’t always the case, in undergrad at Miami I found it very annoying, inappropriate, and unprofessional. Now that I’m in law school I can tolerate it and even revel in it since it happens much less frequently. Why do I enjoy it so much? Because I get to hear other people’s cheesy ring tones. Today, for the second time in two semesters, a classmate’s phone went off and treated us all to the Europe classic The Final Countdown. Being that it was the final day of classes the “other Adam” aptly noted the symbolism of it all. Now, I know you want it, so click here and listen to a sample of The Final Countdown.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Day Late and About $40,000 Short

Right now my life feels like the first part of this Gatorade commercial. I certainly just proved its point about being a fraction off.
(For those of you who aren’t into sports the first part of the commercial has famous endings in sports changed via CGI, i.e. Instead of Michael Jordan making a buzzer beater against Cleveland in the 1989 playoffs he misses it.)

As proof for the statement and video above I offer you this unfortunate tale from yesterday.
I was spending my Saturday morning getting stuff together to mail back home, a shirt that needs to be sewn, my old cell phone so my niece could use it, and a couple other random items. As I was about to put the phone in the box I decided that I should check it in case there were any messages on it from people who don’t have my new cell number yet. I’ve had my new number for almost a month, but it had been about a week since I last checked it for messages so I figured there could be somebody out there who hadn’t gotten the update.

I checked the voicemails and found out that on Monday the Reed Smith office called wanting to set up an interview regarding a fellowship that I had applied for a little over a month ago (before I got my new cell number). This fellowship was a diversity fellowship that required essays on adversity that I’ve had to overcome and another one on my commitment to community service. Luckily for me I’ve got a pretty good life story for the adversity essay and I’ve handed out my fair share of food to the homeless. If I were lucky enough to be picked the fellowship would provide in state tuition for my next two years at pitt (saving me $39,402), and get me a job as a summer associate with Reed Smith next summer (not sure how much that pays, but the experience alone is worth more than at least 8 of my toes and 4 of my fingers combined). The unfortunate part is that they wanted to set up an interview with me on Friday, as we have already established it was Saturday when I finally got the message. Yup, I had just screwed myself out of a chance at one of the best legal opportunities I’ll see for quite a while. Sure, I may never have an opportunity like this again, but at least I did prove that I am the ultimate adversity candidate since even when I get a great opportunity because of overcoming adversity someone, something, or I myself, as in this case, will find a way to keep it from happening.

P.S. For those wondering, yes I did email the person in charge of the fellowship, and no, it didn’t make a difference. However they did thank me for solving the mystery as to why I hadn’t called them back.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Superman and Sports Randomness

I’ve been pretty busy lately, thus the lack of updates. I did find a couple of things online that I found interesting though.
1st is a really cool video of a joke played by some student’s in a Physics 140 class at the University of Michigan. I only wish this was me doing this in law school, here's the clip. Go to www.UMPatriots.com for a link to 2 more videos of these guys.
2nd is a great story from the best owner in professional sports today, Mark Cuban. Apparently he was able to arrange free airfare for every fan in attendance at the Dallas Mavericks last home game. Here’s the article. For more on Mark Cuban click the link to the right bearing his name to go to his blog which is always an interesting read.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Agony and Ecstasy of Being a Florida Marlins Fan.

Times are tight financially, but I’ve been saving my spare change to buy a good ticket when my beloved Florida Marlins come to town to play the Pirates. Then, earlier this week I was faced with quite a dilemma.
One of my classmates invited me to this Friday’s Pirates game against the Cubs. Even though I’ve been wanting to get out to PNC Park since opening day I didn’t want to spend my money designated for the Marlins to get there. Then after a few minutes of pondering the answer to my problems dawned on me. Because of the Marlins unique franchise history, going to a Cubs game would be just about the same as going to a Marlins game this year. “How so?” you ask. I’ll explain.

This off-season the Marlins upheld team tradition by dismantling the nucleus of the team that won the 2003 World Series, just like they did to the 1997 team. As a result I’ll be able to see more of my favorite Marlins players if I go this Friday than I would if I waited until this year’s Marlins finally came to town. The only catch is that the Marlins will be in Cubs uniforms. Take a minute to let that sink in, it’s not an exaggeration. I can buy a ticket to a Marlins game and see Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, if Dontrelle is starting that day, or I can buy a Cubs ticket and see Derek Lee, Juan Pierre, and Ryan Dempster, If Dempster is pitching. In fact the Cubs are just one of quite a few teams that have more familiar (former) Marlins than the current Marlins roster which has 11 rookies and only 5 players with more than 3 years of experience or more. Basically I can see some of my favorite Marlins no matter what 2 teams are playing. This is yet another of the mixed blessings of being a Marlins fan I guess. I’ll still be at PNC when the Marlins make it to town, but I’ll be in the upper deck because the big money will be spent to see the Ryan, Derek, Juan, and Cubs.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

How do I feel about the house sale? To quote the Wu…

Mom and Dad were able to sell the house for a nice chunk of change this week and that led to rampant speculation that I’d be depressed, distraught, or worse and that I’d need to fly home to do some sort of ritual. Well, these rumors couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, I’m a sentimental guy, but all I need is a board from the house, a small vile of sand, a rock or two, and a few good photographs and I have no problems with the old house being sold, demolished, burned to the ground, or imploded. How can a guy as sentimental as me be so detached? I’ll answer that question with lyrics from the Wu-Tang Clan classic CREAM “Get the money…dolla dolla bill ya’ll.” So, for those of you keeping score at home;
Financial Security > Sentimentality
Also, if you want a visual representation of what I’m talking about just scroll down a couple of posts and take a gander at the random picture of Ted Dibiase, I think it makes my point quite clear.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I know where I'll be in December 2006

I just found out that Stallone released the first teaser trailer for Rocky 6 on his website and then took it off after only a couple of days. Luckily some people saved it so you can click here to watch it. Personally I think the trailer looks excellent. I seem to be the only person alive who thinks that this movie could be really good, but then again I’m also the only person I know that thinks Rocky 5 was a good film.

Here’s a Random Picture of The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase For No Apparent Reason

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Well, at least I didn’t go there.

Even though I’m not getting anywhere near my money’s worth here at pitt I think I might have heard a story about another law school yesterday that tops anything pitt has put me through…yet. Apparently the significant other of a friend of mine is going to be attending law school in an elementary school building next year. This person’s school is constructing a new building, but they are knocking the old one (the building currently being used) down at the end of this year. This leaves the school with no alternative but to hold classes at the aforementioned elementary school.
Honestly, after giving this some deep thought I’m not totally convinced that it’s that bad of a situation. Who wouldn’t love to take a few classes in those really short chairs and tables, you would feel like a giant. If you’re free when the kids are having recess you could dominate some pickup basketball games for added self confidence. What’s even better is that during long breaks between classes you could raid the closet with the nap time mats and get some sleep in every day just like in kindergarten. I wonder if it’s too late to transfer?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Congratulations UF, from a Cane.

As anyone who reads this knows by now I consider my choice to go to pitt law instead of the University of Miami the stupidest mistake of my short existence. Luckily for me I’ve lived 24 years so far and only have this one regret to show for it…until now. I present to you my second stupidest decision ever; not going to UF for law school. Had I gone there I could be blowing off classes to celebrate a basketball national title right now.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I Miss My Style'n Shoes

I just got done watching a great documentary on the underground sneaker culture in America over the last 20 years called Just For Kicks. Man, did it bring back some memories. I need to hurry up and finish this law school thing so I can get back to buying stylish sneakers like I used to when I was young. Back then mom and dad would only pay for a regular pair of shoes so I had to work for the money to make up the difference between regular shoes and the latest releases. What made my shoe collection great was living in Orlando where I had access to the shoe company's outlets. This insured that I could find great looking dead stock or rare design shoes for next to nothing. Since most of the people on the basketball courts hadn't seen the style of shoes I was wearing, or hadn't seen them in a long time, it made it really easy to bust out something original whether it was the newest model or something different from the outlet. Good times...good times...
Here's the documentary's web site.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Showcase of the Immortals

It’s late March – early April and that means one thing…WrestleMania. On that topic this year’s WWE Hall of Fame inductions (yes, there is a pro wrestling hall of fame) are of particular interest to me since one of Dad’s old customers is being inducted along with his tag team partner. To residents of Central Florida Bob Windam might just be some guy who owns a used car lot in Mascot, Florida, however to wrestling fans he’s remembered as Blackjack Mulligan, tough Texan and master of the claw hold. Some of the highlights of his wrestling career were winning the World Tag Team Titles with Ric Flair (Flair’s first pro wrestling title) and his feuds with Andre the Giant. Also he’s the father of former 4 Horsemen member Barry Windam, Kendall Windam, and the step father of Mike Rotundo (I.R.S. of the WWF). After his wrestling career ended Blackjack eventually opened up his used car lot, which led to Dad selling batteries to him. One Saturday I went out with Dad in order to meet him and he seemed like a nice guy. If you ever buy a car from Blackjack you’ll surely be struck by how big he is, but for some fun go into his office and look at the pictures on his wall. While feeling diminutive standing in Blackjack’s shadow notice the picture of Blackjack and Andre the Giant. In that picture Blackjack looks tiny compared to Andre, it’s a nice little way to put things in perspective for an average sized person. The first two hours of the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be broadcast online at WWE.com at 9:00 pm on April 1st and the final hour will be televised on USA Network at 11:00 pm. Here’s a video package about the induction, here’s Blackjack’s profile on WWE.com, and here’s a link to Blackjack’s own website.

Somewhat Busy...

It has been a while since my last posting, so I’ll do a quick little wholesale update on what I’ve been up to;
1: Finished my intramural volleyball season and then celebrated with the team + Danny and Laura.
2: Went to a brain bowl practice here at Pitt, had a good time too. I’ll be going back this Thursday.
3: Saw the Governor when he came by the law school to get a speech.
4: Angelina came for a visit.
5: Reunited with the majority of the volleyball team to beat Duquesne’s volleyball team in the Golden Gavel Competition (an annual competition between the law schools of Duquesne and Pitt).
6: Avoided doing school work by going to see a movie that night.
7: Eventually wrote a brief that was due, but only after spending part of the night at the local Dave & Buster’s arcade to help celebrate Sharon’s birthday.

So that sums up what I’ve been up to, a more interesting post will be forthcoming.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

I Paid How Much For This???

If you ever wonder why I'm so harsh toward pitt's law school (intentionally lower case letters) today provided another good example. I went to a meeting about how to register for courses and it turns out that Valencia Community College is far more technologically advanced than this law school. Let that sink in for a moment....I'm at a school that is considered to be one of the nations 50 best and I'm longing to have the amenities that I used to have at a COMMUNITY COLLEGE. We all know that Valencia is a great deal for the price you pay and also I've often said that I would have gladly paid the full price without scholarships to go to UM if I would have had to (which costs more than pitt law by the way), but I must admit that I feel cheated paying the price that I am going to this school. So, for those of you who hear one of my law school rants remember that it's not a whinny student you're hearing, it's a ripped off consumer.
On the bright side I did go to two other events in the last two days and both were great. One was a panel on non-tradition jobs for lawyers and the other one was about legal careers in politics, I might post some interesting observations on those later though.

Everybody Owes $30,432.74

It looks like the Senate will pass legislation to let our national debt grow to 9 trillion dollars in order to avoid a default on national treasury notes. Here are a few ways to put this into perspective:
#1: Type out 9 trillion on a keyboard. It's easy, just type a nine and then put 12 zeros behind it with a coma between ever three zeros. If done correctly it'll look like this 9,000,000,000,000. Whew, that was a lot of typing.
#2: Do your part and pay what you owe on that debt. I'll come out to around $30,432.74.
#3: Read Running on Empty by Peter Peterson.
#4: Spend $35 million dollars a day for life to equal a trillion, then live 9 times.
For more fun ways to better understand how far in debt we are read this great little explanation of how much ONE trillion is .

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sunday, March 05, 2006

If You've Got a Little Extra Time...

While watching C-SPAN today I stumbled upon a familiar name on the schedule. Adonal Foyle was going to be on Q & A. I immediately recognized him as a player from the Golden State Warriors, but what I didn’t recognize was how interesting a person he is. Adonal is from the Caribbean and is completely different from the general stereotype of an NBA player, but that’s obvious since he’s being interviewed on C-Span. In the interview he touched on his path from the Caribbean to the NBA, his foundation Democracy Matters, basic campaign finance issues, and political apathy among young people. If you’ve got a little extra time the interview is worth watching. The link to see it can be found here, also Adonal has his own website which includes poety and a reading list.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Photograph-X Pittsburgh Division

I tried to get out of the shirt printing game, but it just pulled me back in. I couldn’t stand the idea of paying $16 for shirts that I could make for a fourth of that, so I decided to make my own screen printing press. After a couple weekends of building it and acquiring the other stuff I needed it is finally ready. It conveniently and inconspicuously leans against the wall when not in use and can do 2 color shirts, I was almost able to fit a third color on it, but I’ll have to try that on the next one. Bellow are pictures of the press while I was printing a job for the Pitt Law Democrats. I didn’t really intend to build the press for commercial purposes, but as a good capitalist I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to make a little extra money. Now if only Pitt had a Republican group that needed t-shirts in response…oh well. Oh yeah Danny, if you have any shirt ideas I’ve got you covered now.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Money = Happiness

Through the years I’ve at times been hated on for my assertion that I’d be much happier if I could just be rich, or at least very comfortably well off. I’ve always figured that my logic for wanting to be rich was pretty good. You see my reasoning is that I’ve done pretty much everything that I’ve wanted to try in my life up to this point. I’ve found varying levels of satisfaction and happiness in all the places that people will tell you to find “real” fulfillment (sports, education, religion, food) but I still haven’t reached the level of happiness that I want to be at (except when I’m eating good cheese), so I figure why not try the one thing I haven’t tried yet? What is that one thing? M-O-N-E-Y. Cash Money. Dead Presidents. Dolla Dolla Bills Yall. Despite my well reasoned approach to searching for happiness people have still tried to lead my down the path of unsatisfied contentment by claiming “money can’t buy happiness.” Now I can say, scientifically, that they are wrong and that yes, money does buy happiness; well at least it makes you twice as likely to be happy.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Thank God I’ve Still Got Both My Eyebrows

One of the things that I like about myself is that I don’t have a unibrow, though I do have one pesky hair that grows between the left and right brow. It’s really not that big an issue though since it is easily taken care of by one swipe with a razor.

Well, tonight I had a lot of trouble eating chili because more chili was getting in my RIDICULOUSLY long goatee than in my mouth. Even though I’m a fan of having moderately weird facial hair the goatee had to go because nothing, and I do mean nothing, stands in the way of me eating my chili.

So after I finished shaving the goatee I decided to take care of the previously mentioned single hair attempting to be a unibrow. And then for a slit second I found myself almost shaving off my right eyebrow, I didn’t intent to do this, but my hand was headed that way without thinking about it. Thank God I started thinking about what I was doing before I accidentally shaved off half an eyebrow. However this did make me start thinking about some questions, such as: “How would I have explained that at school on Monday?” “If I had shaved off half of the eyebrow should I shave the rest of it and just have one eyebrow, or shave them both and go with the King Kong Bundy look (pictured above). Just wondering, let me know what you think.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

They’ve gone too far now, way too far.

The Islamic extremists protesting over the cartoons finally crossed my final line yesterday. They made it personal for me. They attacked something close to my heart. They attacked fast food restaurants (a Pizza Hut and a KFC). I must respond now. I’m not joining the army, unfortunately I can’t hire the A-Team, but I have assembled a team to respond to these heinous attacks on businesses that are so near and dear to me. I give to you my rouge unit of freedom fighters

Tech Support/Reconnaissance:
The Burger King Kid’s Club.

It would take too long for me to do a member by member profile, but if you were born around the same time I was you’ll remember these guys. If you don’t then just click this link to understand why they’ll be collecting the data and keeping the technology going.

Foot Soldiers:
The Chik-Fil-A cows.
In their calendars they’ve played football, extreme sports, and this year they’ve gone with a medieval theme. Certainly athletic enough, and apparently trained in medieval weaponry, they should be useful.

Grimace, the Fry Guys, Mayor McCheese, and the Hamburgler.
Each bring their own talents, but Mayor McCheese will act as a leader among the foot soldiers, and the Hamburgler is our specialist who’s willing to do the jobs of questionable legality.

Taco Bell Dog.
I have no idea how he/she will be useful, let me know if you have any ideas.

The Leadership:
Jared from Subway: Fitness and Nutrition Expert.
Actually I can’t stand this guy. He’s really not going to have any role other than to be a human sacrifice. Enjoy it extremists, it’ll be your only kill

Little Cesar: Field General.
Even though lately all he seems able to say is “Pizza Pizza” he did lead the Roman War Machine, so he’s clearly qualified to get the most out of our foot soldiers.

Dave Thomas and Connell Sanders: Strategy/Organization
I bet you guys thought they were dead, didn’t you? Well they aren’t. Connell Sanders is still kick’n around as an animation. In fact I’d say he’s even more lively in this incarnation. He over strategy and organization since he was known for firing somebody on the spot if their KFC store’s gravy didn’t meet his standards. As for his protégé Dave Thomas, check the date of his alleged “death” JANUARY 8th, 2002. That’s right, my birthday. Back in 02’ Dave’s gift to me was to fake his death so that he could come join me and the others here in fighting terrorism instead of having to run his restaurants. With these 2 around the gray will be right and the attacks precise.

The Burger King: Figurehead/Front Man.
NWA had Eazy-E, Public Enemy had Flava Flav, Van Halen had David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, Metallica has James Hetfield, and we have the Burger King. He colorful, new, and kinda freaky.

Ronald McDonald: President.
He is the face behind the world’s largest fast food chain. That alone is enough to qualify him for the top spot. Also he’s had great media relations throughout the decades, so keeping him in charge should ensure positive popular opinion.

The time to unleash this mighty force has finally arrived.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ring the bell, this fight is over.

The battle to be my favorite politician ended Sunday night at 7:45 with a shocking knockout. The knockout blow came from a man nobody even knew was in the fight. Let's send it to this blog's official ring announcer, Jeff Temkin, for the official decision.

"The winner of the match...and Adam's NEW favorite politician...Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi!!!"

Berlusconi pulled off this upset by calling himself "the Jesus Christ of politics". He then went on to say "I am a patient victim, I put up with everyone, I sacrifice myself for everyone."
As another person who is a patient victim, puts up with everyone, and sacrifices himself for everyone, I can understand how he feels (sarcasm is dripping from the keyboard as I type). I'm not stupid enough to call myself Jesus because of it, but I do understand.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

That’s the spirit guys!

An Iranian newspaper is having a contest for Holocaust cartoons as a response to the Mohammed cartoons published in Denmark . I guess this is some sort of attempt to show the west what it's like to be offended by a cartoon. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Iran's embassies won't be burned down in westernized countries as a result. Even though the paper's contest won't get the desired effect it is a HUGE step forward for Iran since the newspaper is at least acknowledging the Holocaust as opposed to following their president's lead and saying that the Holocaust was a myth. By the way, this paper shouldn't act as though offensive and anti-semetic cartoons aren't already in Arab newspapers.

In the article about the cartoon contest the guy from the Iranian paper asks a question which I'd like to answer. The question he asks is "Does the West extend freedom of expression to the crimes committed by the United States and Israel, or an event such as the Holocaust? Or is its freedom only for insulting religious sanctities?" The answer is yes, we do extend freedom of expression to our own crimes, take for example Abu Ghraib. Or if you want to go further back consider Mia Li massacre in Vietnam. Both storys were allowed to be covered by the US media as free expression.

Lastly, here's one more observation on how the Muslim community needs to address this issue by categorically denouncing these violent protests. In the U.S. many Christians feel that a human life is created at the moment of conception (whether or not you actually believe this assume it to be true for the time being). As a result of abortion being legal people who feel this way believe that their government is allowing the murder of over a million babies a year. A few people with these beliefs have taken the law into their own hands and bombed or otherwise attacked abortion clinics in response. Every Christian denomination responded to these violent actions by denouncing anyone who did such actions. There was absolutely no waffling among Christians about how what the clinic bombers did was wrong. No Christians claimed that the bombings must be understood by considering how offensive the U.S. government's abortion policies were to the bombers. Instead these radical elements of Christianity were denounced at every turn by every denomination. I think it's time Islam hold itself to a similar standard. If U.S. Christians are able to condemn violent actions by extremist Christians in response to what they see as murder then I think Islamic leaders and lay people should be able to stand up and clearly condemn a violent response to what they see as a blasphemous cartoon.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Good response guys, next time try not to reinforce that stereotype.

I’m sure you guys know about the violence that erupted overseas due to a Danish cartoon depicting the prophet Mohamed wearing a bomb shaped turban. Muslim anger over the cartoon is understandable since Muslims feel it is not ok to depict Mohamed in any form, especially in a derogatory light. Despite this understandable anger Muslim rioting around the Middle East has done absolutely nothing but reinforce the image of their religion that the cartoon portrayed.

While looking around online I found some articles discussing how this situation is just an example of westerners being ignorant of the Islamic religion and as a result insulting Muslims worldwide. There’s some truth to this argument since most westerners don’t have any idea about even the basics of Islam. Unfortunately it’s very hard to get westerners to look past their opinions of Islam when Muslims respond to an offensive cartoon linking their religion to terrorism and violence by starting violent riots that have already claimed multible lives. (In part credit James for that simple yet profound observation).

I’m sure there are those who would say that westerners don’t understand the kind of offense that a Muslim takes to a depiction of Mohamed. Well, I don’t remember deadly riots after the unveiling of Piss Christ.

In the end it's frustrating to me to know that my Muslim friends have to deal with a distorted perception of what they're like due to actions of those half a world away.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Ok, it’s late on the Saturday night before the Super Bowl, time to give my analysis.

First off I’ve got to give some credit to the most unheralded Steeler of them all, Verron Haynes (pictured to your left). Most people outside the city have not clue who he is even though he’s a vital part of the offense. He’s the third and long back. If it’s 3rd and 3 or under Bettis is there to get the yardage, but if it’s more like third and 6 or more Veronn Haynes is your man. He has converted a ton of 3rd downs on crucial drives this season. I expect him to do this again on Sunday and maybe now the nation will notice it.

Also: I think Bettis will have a few more carries than normal. This isn’t for centimental reasons but because throughout the season the team lightens his workload so he’ll be around all year. Now that he’s at what is probably at the last game of his career there’s nothing to reserve, expect Bettis to leave everything on the field and Cower to realize that this is the one time this year he’ll have access to a completely unrestrained Bettis.

With the Seahawks keying on Ward and Randle El expect Cedrick Wilson to have to have a big game.

And even though this is obvious, expect Joey Porter to come up big.

Final score: Steelers 31 Seahawks 16

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Never Trust a Wheel with Your Job Search

On the door of one of the professor’s offices here in the library there is a neat little wheel that you can spin. It has different types of law that you can practice as a career such as “Wills,” “Real Estate,” and “Wealth Planning.” Feeling curious I decided to spin the wheel. It stopped on “Elder Law.” Thinking that this can’t be right I spun it again and "Elder Law" came up for a second time. Feeling worried about this I decided I’d spin it one more time just so I’d at least have two options to consider. When the wheel stopped spinning it once again read “Elder Law.” Looks like this summer I’ll be doing an externship at the AARP I guess? I wonder if Aunt Debbie can help out with that?