> Hello
> I am Clay
> I keep a /timeline and have a monthly /newsletter
> You are welcome to /subscribe

August 2022

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.

Over the Line!

‘You can’t be the player’s friend’: inside the secret world of tennis umpires

Using a network of six or more high-speed video cameras positioned around the court, the system generates an image of the ball’s path and the spot where it lands. To keep matches fast-flowing, human line judges usually continue to call when a ball is out. However, up to three times per set (plus one more if it goes to a tie-break), players can request a review if they don’t agree with the human call. In 2020, more tournaments began using Hawk-Eye Live, a newer version of the technology that makes automated line calls in real time. Not only does it remove the need for players to make a challenge, it has removed the need for line judges altogether. With Hawk-Eye Live, the only official on court is the chair umpire. However, the technology is expensive, and at present it is only used at the top-tier events, and only on hard courts.

Where does this leave the umpire? Earlier this year, in one of his scathing post-match appraisals of Bernardes in Miami, Kyrgios expressed a view that is gaining ground: “By the way, it’s all electronically done now. So you’re actually doing nothing apart from calling the score, which any tennis fan could do. Sit in the chair and just say ‘15-love’, ‘Game Kyrgios’, ‘Game Sinner’. That’s all he has to do.”

But that, it turns out, isn’t quite right.

One Winner

The Secret Art of the Family Photo

Let’s say a family of four is going on a weeklong vacation to Hawaii. One of the adults is taking a good-quality dedicated camera, and everyone else will be snapping away with their smartphones. How many pictures should the family aim to end up with?

Consider the possibility that a reasonable number is eight. Why so few? Because life is full, and pictures accrue. The events of life come tumbling along, and the photos pile up, like the days and the hours do. The more family pictures you amass over time without editing or “organizing” them—without keywording, without making the hard decisions about which are the best and most essential—the more chaotic, dispiriting, disorganized, unlabelled, unsearchable, and jumbled the great mass will be, and the less well any given one of them will function for its purpose. Surfeit adds up to failure; selectivity leads to success.

This isn’t to say that you should take only a few pictures. On the contrary, an open secret of photography is that good photographers shoot more and show less. You might have to take five hundred pictures in Hawaii to get eight truly good ones—and, even then, getting those eight good ones won’t be easy. You can’t just shoot indiscriminately—pursuing the strategy photographers call “spray and pray”—and get what you want. You’ll have to be purposeful as you collect the raw material for your later edit. This requires being alert to opportunities and sensitive to what family members will really want to remember. You also have to be perceptive about what makes your experience distinctive. Mindless snapping of “the sights” isn’t going to hack it. Dozens of images of marine life beneath a glass-bottomed boat won’t make up for missing the zip line that was the highlight of your ten-year-old’s trip.

The same principle applies when you’re not on vacation. It’s tempting to take—and keep—many photos of birthday parties, picnics, athletic competitions, and so on. But numerous events can be commemorated with a single picture. It just has to be a good one, and to tell enough of the story.

Links

Sign Off

Do not hesitate to reply to this months email to share links, wisdom, or thoughts.

Thanks for reading. Have a great month,

Clay

July 2022

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.

“The majority thereby substitutes a rule by judges for the rule of law.”

We Dissent

As an initial matter, note a mistake in the just preceding sentence. We referred there to the “people” who ratified the Fourteenth Amendment: What rights did those “people” have in their heads at the time? But, of course, “people” did not ratify the Fourteenth Amendment. Men did. So it is perhaps not so surprising that the ratifiers were not perfectly attuned to the importance of reproductive rights for women’s liberty, or for their capacity to participate as equal members of our Nation. Indeed, the ratifiers — both in 1868 and when the original Constitution was approved in 1788 — did not understand women as full members of the community embraced by the phrase “We the People.” In 1868, the first wave of American feminists were explicitly told — of course by men — that it was not their time to seek constitutional protections. (Women would not get even the vote for another half-century.) To be sure, most women in 1868 also had a foreshortened view of their rights: If most men could not then imagine giving women control over their bodies, most women could not imagine having that kind of autonomy. But that takes away nothing from the core point. Those responsible for the original Constitution, including the Fourteenth Amendment, did not perceive women as equals, and did not recognize women’s rights. When the majority says that we must read our foundational charter as viewed at the time of ratification (except that we may also check it against the Dark Ages), it consigns women to second-class citizenship.

The High Five

30 for 30 Shorts: The High Five

When Dusty Baker hit his 30th home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977, the first man to greet him at home plate was his friend and teammate, rookie Glenn Burke. Overcome with happiness, Burke did the first thing that came to mind — he put his hand straight in the air and had Baker slap it. Welcome to the birth of the high five. From there, our short follows Burke’s story as he became a victim of bigotry and then a local hero for social change.

Freeze Your Credit Scores

Quick and easy to do and to undo.

Links

Sign Off

Do not hesitate to reply to this months email to share links, wisdom, or thoughts.

Thanks for reading. Have a great month,

Clay

June 2022

This newsletter is a collection of things I have found in the last month that I enjoyed, found interesting, or simply wanted to share.

You can follow me more closely at my personal website or if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a home, you can point them to my real estate website.

Gig Economy

The Real Yacht Rock: Inside the Lavish, Top-Secret World of Private Gigs

But alongside the world of corporate parties and retreats, a far more shadowy parallel world has been flourishing: the super-private gig. In that universe, stars in classic rock, hip-hop, and pop have been pulling in sizable fees for playing at weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, and other personal-life milestones, all for those wealthy enough to afford it. The festivities allow performers to walk away with yacht-loads of cash and make one-percenter hosts feel like insiders and stars themselves. But along with the sizable paydays come sometimes dicey political issues that the artists have to navigate (or, sometimes, ignore).

Cowboy rides into town on Friday, stays 3 days, leaves on Friday. How did he do it?

An oral history of ‘Little Big League’

Tony Todd (Mickey Scales, 2B): I crashed the audition. I never acted before. I was coming home with a friend of mine, and we passed by a park where we used to play. There were easily 250 people out there on that field. I got out of the car and I went over there to see what was going on, and they said they were casting movies. I said, by the looks of things, and I’m not tooting my horn, I’m probably better than anyone you got out there. And they said, “Yeah, we’ve been hearing that all day.” I said, alright, well, give me a shot and I’ll show you.

Scheinman: The casting director goes, “What’s your name again?” Todd goes, “Mickey Scales.” He just walks up and says “Mickey Scales.” He knew exactly what he was doing. We just didn’t know about him.

Todd: They put the L-screen up. They gave guys 10 swings; they gave me five. Four of them go to the fence and the last one I hit off the wall. They told me to run to first base. And, you know, brothers can run. So, I didn’t stop at first and decided to run all the way around and do a little slide at home.

Scheinman: He got people’s attention because his personality is larger than life. Boy, he was an athlete. He just jumped out when he was at the tryout.

Todd: Later, I show up at the studio for a reading. I get halfway done and they tell me to stop. They asked me if I’d ever been to Minnesota. I said, nope, but I know Kirby Puckett’s there! They said, “Well, that’s great because you’re going to Minnesota and you’re going to play the part of Mickey Scales.” I went berserk. I started high-fiving everyone.

The horse’s name is Friday.

Links

Sign Off

Do not hesitate to reply to this months email to share links, wisdom, or thoughts.

Thanks for reading. Have a great month,

Clay

You can subscribe to this site via RSS, follow on Twitter, or sign-up for my monthly newsletter: