Tuesday, June 24, 2008

July 5th = Sophie's Choice for Adam

I've done my fair share of hyping Rampage Jackson on this blog, for instance here, over here too, and a little bit in this post too. So today I realized that I needed to balance out the MMA love and introduce you guys to the man that Rampage will fight on July 5th, the one man tied with Rampage as my favorite currently active mixed martial artist. Behold; Forrest Griffin

There are few things in this world funnier than a highly intelligent, college educated, former police officer turned MMA fighter who acts barely sane all the time just to entertain himself.

Also, that video was filmed in the lobby of the Xtreme Couture gym in Las Vegas where I trained for a week back in May. Seeing it made me really miss that place...sigh.

Here's another Forrest video, this time it's one of the official promotional videos for the Forrest v. Rampage fight on July 5th

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Much Respect to this Kid: 2nd Edition

Earlier this year I devoted a post to a kid that had worn a Brett Favre jersey every day for the last four years. This morning I saw a video about a kid that once again reminded me of a younger version of myself. Meet Eddie Richardson:Eddie has memorized the name of every Major League baseball player. If you ask him who the catcher for the Marlins is he'll tell you Matt Treanor. Ask him who the center fielder for the Red Sox is and he'll tell you it's Coco Crisp. Click here to watch the video, this kid is good.

It reminds me of the time I went to the library and checked out the Official NBA Encyclopedia before a trip to Mississippi. I read the entire thing, including the career stats of every player who had ever played an NBA game up to that point. I still don't think I retained as much as this kid though.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Was Right

When I blogged about my frustration with pittsburgh over my 2 popped tires in one trip back in February somebody stumbled upon the post and left a comment defending the city. After reading the comment I quickly added a reply comment, fleshing out my opinion on the things they brought up. The comments are worth a read just to get a couple different perspectives on what direction the city of pittsburgh is going.

Some of the person's points were good, but yesterday I got confirmation that my overarching thesis is still correct: pittsburgh, like all other cold weather cities, will always have potholes, but that still doesn't excuse the city for being completely inept at using the taxes they collect to improve the situation. I claim victory in this debate thanks to this story from KDKA: Pothole Patching Problem Halts Road Work.

Here's the knockout blow from the article: "They say the mix that is intended to prevent potholes is instead causing them."

Also watch the video on the right side of the page about the story, the visuals of the potholes are great.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Great Article on the Job Prospects of My Friends and I

Even after seeing all the fun I had in Las Vegas I can imagine some people I know still wonder why I had no interest at all in going to my law school graduation. To those people I say "read this article." Now you might understand why I didn't want to spend a perfectly good Saturday in May celebrating what so many graduates (possibly me?) have to look forward to:

"Vichet Chan, who received his law degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in 2007 has been looking for work ever since. He recently moved back in with his parents in West Virginia to save money. He owes about $250 a month in interest on student loans. If he gets a job, he will lose his hardship deferral and will owe about $1,000 a month.

''The thing is companies want experience from young lawyers, but it's hard to get the experience,'' Chan said.

One symptom of the surplus is the rise of so-called ''contract attorneys'' -- essentially temps with JDs (the doctor of law degree). They work for roughly $20- to $40-an-hour on often monotonous tasks, like reviewing documents, that law firms outsource. A blog called Temporary Attorney even chronicles the mind-numbing assignments, verbal abuse and poor working conditions that include cockroach-infested, un-air-conditioned rooms with blocked exits and no breaks allowed."

The outlook isn't completely horrible though, according to the head of Charlotte School of Law Gene Clark:

"While the market for traditional lawyering jobs is mixed, he says, it's strong in other fields for people -- law-enforcement officers, entrepreneurs -- with legal skills."

So, anybody want to buy a T-shirt?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Thanks to the early childhood influences of Alfred Tidwell and Tim Mears I've been a Celtics fan for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately for me that meant only seeing the end of the Bird/McHale/Parrish era and seeing a lot of bad basketball afterword.

From M.L. Carr running the team, to the Garden closing (at the hands of my beloved Orlando Magic no less), to Red Auerbach passing away, times haven't been all that good. Well, none of that matters now, seeing this great team play made it all worth it.

I feel especially good for Paul Pierce. He's been the only bright spot in recent Celtics history. After spending so much time stranded on mediocre or bad Celtics teams he finally got a chance to shine and took full advantage of it, bringing home the Finals MVP Award.

Also, a special congrats goes out to Doc Rivers. He's done a great job coaching both of my favorite teams. In fact, he was the coach for 2 of my favorite NBA seasons of all time, this year obviously, and the 1999 "Heart and Hustle" Orlando Magic. In addition to all that Angelina can tell you he's a great tipper since she served him at the Winter Park Starbucks during his entire stint in Orlando.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Little Late, But Here’s My Own Unique Tim Russert Tribute

By now just about everyone has shared their thoughts on how they’ll remember Tim Russert. I’ll certainly miss his excellent work every Sunday morning on Meet the Press. He really was the best political interviewer out there. But, rather than focus on his journalism I think I should share a story about the one way that Tim actually, indisputably, impacted my life. He helped make sure I got to the University of Miami.

Back when graduation from Valencia was nearing I figured out that UM was the place I should go after graduation. This was a surprise to everyone, including myself, considering I had spend the better part of two decades planning to go to the University of Florida. After explaining how UM was a much better place for me to study philosophy there was only one challenge remaining and it was a big one: How to explain to mom and dad that UM’s $28,000 tuition could actually be affordable compared to UF’s much lower in-state public school tuition?

I had worked the numbers out for myself over and over, but for some reason it didn’t seem like I could convince anyone else that UM would cost less after applying the financial aid they would give. So, I thought long and hard about how to explain such a convoluted equation in a simple, straightforward, understandable way. And then it came to me…


The rest, as they say, is history.
Thanks for the idea Tim, I loved every minute of being at UM.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

My Choice to Play B.A. in the A-Team Movie: Rampage!

This interview intertwines two of my favorite things, Rampage Jackson and the A-Team. Apparently Rampage is in the running to play B.A. in the upcoming A-Team movie and I think he'd be by far the best choice. Besides the A-Team discussion this interview show how hillarious Rampage can be in general, no matter what the topic.


Click here to read what is probably the best explanation/defense of MMA I've ever read. I've got to thank the author Mike Chiappetta. I can't explain how refreshing it is to read an article from someone in the mainstream media who actually understands MMA and writes about it in an intelligent and articulate way.

I'm going to spend the rest of the night printing out copies of the article and handing them out to everybody walking down the sidewalk.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Most Fun I've Had...Ever?

Who is a big enough lunatic to go on vacation in Las Vegas with the main purpose being to train and fight against other people at the best mixed martial arts gym in the world? Me, that's who.

I've never had more fun in my life. I might have had an equal amount of fun before, but nothing surpasses the time I spent in Vegas (time in Vegas that I chose over waisting 3 hours on a Saturday walking across a stage). Here are some pictures from the trip.
It’s a good thing the gym had this sign placed above a urinal, because I nearly pissed myself when I read it before my first class.

This image is going on my business card after the bar. The text of my card will read:
Adam “The Brawl’n Barrister” Samons ESQ
He’ll Fight For You…Literally.

I made myself two promises before I went to the gym. 1) No touristy fan boy pictures with the fighters if I’m inside the gym. 2) If I break promise #1 at least don’t do that stupid clinched fist pose in the pictures. Here you can see me breaking both of these promises to myself, but who cares, it’s Randy freaking Couture.

Here were the staples of my diet while in Vegas: G2 to drink, grapefruit, bananas, Nutri-Grain bars, and some sort of microwaveable taco bell rice and beans thing.

Me with the most exciting fighter around today, Clay Guida. I met him at the gym the day before, but I was still keeping my promises to myself at the time. I took this when I stumbled upon an appearance he was doing at a Champs Sports. He’s a nice guy, doesn’t do the clinched fist pose in his pictures, and he somewhat resembles the Geiko caveman, what’s not to love? He’s so cool he can have his eyes closed and still be the coolest guy in the picture.

Me with Matt Hamill. I’m pretty sure he’s the baddest def man on the face of the planet. Also, the UFC lists him at 6’1, but unless he’s wearing platform shoes in this picture he’s more like 6’4.

These two brothers are the future of MMA: 7 year old Carlos Ruffo and 5 year old Giovani Ruffo. Their ground and standup techniques are both startlingly good. One day I’ll be able to say I rolled with them a couple of times way back when at a Jiu-Jitsu seminar on my graduation day. I think I’d change my anti-child stance if I knew my kids would be as fun loving and well behaved as these pint sized killing machines.

I was too into the fights on Saturday night to remember to take a couple pictures. The important thing is that this man, BJ Penn, won.

I didn’t spend all my time at the gym…well I would have, but it was closed on Sunday so I headed out to Red Rock Canyon. It was beautiful and these cell phone camera pictures do it no justice.

After Red Rock Canyon and a nap I headed out for a night on the town with these two guys that I was rooming with at the hostel. I’m pretty sure that they had names, but I never knew them. I only know them as “The Austrian Guy” and “The Guy from Switzerland.”

This is me with the Medway Submissions Fight Club from just outside London England. We trained all week together. They were great fighters and even better people. Lee, the guy on the end next to me owns the club’s gym and has his own fight promotion back in England. You can check out their websites at http://www.medwaysubmissions.com/ and http://www.cfc.uk.com/.

All the instructors at Xtreme Couture are world class, but this guy, professional fighter and Jiu-Jitsu instructor Dennis Davis was the best of the best

Boxing coach Ron Frazier was a close second behind Dennis, but you wouldn’t know it from this video.

Here's a picture of the front of the gym. It's also a picture of my next vacation destination, whenever that might be.

Stuff I'm Watching While I'm not at Work or Doing Bar Prep

I can't go to sleep after watching that great Pens v. Red Wings game tonight. I'm really lucky to have lived in two towns that have had teams go so deep into the playoffs while I've been there. Back in Miami I oversaw the Marlins and Heat winning championships and here in Pittsburgh my Midas touch bestowed a Super Bowl title to the Steelers and hopefully a Stanley Cup to the Pens with a little luck.

The cool thing about living in a town at a time like this is the inexplicable exchanges you have with strangers about hockey. I just stepped outside to put something in the mail and my next door neighbors were out on their porch and greeted me with "lets go Pens!" This exchange wasn't quite as weird as the one I had a couple of weeks ago when a guy dialed the wrong number and got me on my cell phone. After explaining that I wasn't the guy named Joe that he was looking for he ended the call with "oh, okay, sorry about that. But go Pens anyway right?!"

On top of all this we've got something I've been waiting on for a long time starting on Thursday: Lakers. Celtics. NBA Finals. Brian's got his team, I've got mine, should be fun.