October 2020

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.

Earn Your Participation Trophy

Step 1: Click here to get 5 random dates between January 20, 2017 and January 20, 2021 (gotta future-proof, y’know).

Step 2: Match the month and day with the Catalog of Trump’s Worst Cruelties, Collusions, Corruptions, and Crimes and/or, if you would prefer, the Washington Post’s False and Misleading Claims page.

(I highly recommend just using Cmd+F or Ctrl+F to search the page. Otherwise, you will be scrolling until November 3.)

Step 3: VOTE.

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Thanks for reading. Have a great month,

Clay

September 2020

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.

Egg-cellent

Always on the Side of the Egg

Between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks against it, I will always stand on the side of the egg.

Yes, no matter how right the wall may be and how wrong the egg, I will stand with the egg. Someone else will have to decide what is right and what is wrong; perhaps time or history will decide. If there were a novelist who, for whatever reason, wrote works standing with the wall, of what value would such works be?

What is the meaning of this metaphor? In some cases, it is all too simple and clear. Bombers and tanks and rockets and white phosphorus shells are that high, solid wall. The eggs are the unarmed civilians who are crushed and burned and shot by them. This is one meaning of the metaphor.

This is not all, though. It carries a deeper meaning. Think of it this way. Each of us is, more or less, an egg. Each of us is a unique, irreplaceable soul enclosed in a fragile shell. This is true of me, and it is true of each of you. And each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, is confronting a high, solid wall. The wall has a name: It is The System. The System is supposed to protect us, but sometimes it takes on a life of its own, and then it begins to kill us and cause us to kill others — coldly, efficiently, systematically.

The Egg: Andy Weir

“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,”

“Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

iPoDoE

The Case of the Top Secret iPod

It was a gray day in late 2005. I was sitting at my desk, writing code for the next year’s iPod. Without knocking, the director of iPod Software—my boss’s boss—abruptly entered and closed the door behind him. He cut to the chase. “I have a special assignment for you. Your boss doesn’t know about it. You’ll help two engineers from the US Department of Energy build a special iPod. Report only to me.”

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Clay

August 2020

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.

How Low Can You Go

What would Tiger Woods shoot on your home course?

For the past 25 years, we’ve watched Tiger dominate on some of the toughest courses in the world. If you’re anything like me, you’ve asked yourself, “How good would Tiger be at my course from my tees?”.

Recently, a good friend asked me an interesting question: “If tour players entered their scores just like we do, what would their USGA handicap index be?” I ran the numbers and it was eye-popping.

And I quote, “A fucking bitch”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Responds to Rep. Ted Yoho

And so what I believe is that having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man, and when a decent man messes up as we all are bound to do, he tries his best and does apologize. Not to save face, not to win a vote, he apologizes genuinely to repair and acknowledge the harm done so that we can all move on.

Lastly, what I want to express to Mr. Yoho is gratitude. I want to thank him for showing the world that you can be a powerful man and accost women. You can have daughters and accost women without remorse. You can be married and accost women. You can take photos and project an image to the world of being a family man and accost women without remorse and with a sense of impunity. It happens every day in this country. It happened here on the steps of our nation’s Capitol. It happens when individuals who hold the highest office in this land admit, admit to hurting women and using this language against all of us.

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Clay

July 2020

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.

Black Lives Matter

You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument

I have rape-colored skin. My light-brown-blackness is a living testament to the rules, the practices, the causes of the Old South.

If there are those who want to remember the legacy of the Confederacy, if they want monuments, well, then, my body is a monument. My skin is a monument.

Don’t understand the protests? What you’re seeing is people pushed to the edge

But African Americans have been living in a burning building for many years, choking on the smoke as the flames burn closer and closer. Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.

Adrian Brandon: Stolen

I use time as a medium to define how long each portrait is colored in. 1 year of life = 1 minute of color…So for each of these portraits I played with the harsh relationship between time and death. I want the viewer to see how much empty space is left in these lives, stories that will never be told, space that can never be filled. This emptiness represents holes in their families and our community, who will be forever stuck with the question, “who were they becoming?”

8:46 – Dave Chappelle

We’re not desperate for heroes in the black community. Anyone who survives this nightmare is my god-damned hero.

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Clay

June 2020

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.

Times Like These

The Day the Live Concert Returns

In today’s world of fear and unease and social distancing, it’s hard to imagine sharing experiences like these ever again. I don’t know when it will be safe to return to singing arm in arm at the top of our lungs, hearts racing, bodies moving, souls bursting with life. But I do know that we will do it again, because we have to. It’s not a choice. We’re human. We need moments that reassure us that we are not alone. That we are understood. That we are imperfect. And, most important, that we need each other. I have shared my music, my words, my life with the people who come to our shows. And they have shared their voices with me. Without that audience—that screaming, sweating audience—my songs would only be sound. But together, we are instruments in a sonic cathedral, one that we build together night after night. And one that we will surely build again.

Want to Dance

”The Last Dance” – The 10 part documentary chronicles the untold story of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty.

“Look, winning has a price,” says Jordan. “And leadership has a price. So I pulled people along when they didn’t want to be pulled. I challenged people when they didn’t want to be challenged. And I earned that right because my teammates who came after me didn’t endure all the things that I endured. Once you joined the team, you lived at a certain standard that I played the game. And I wasn’t going to take any less. Now if that means I had to go in there and get in your ass a little bit, then I did that. You ask all my teammates. The one thing about Michael Jordan was he never asked me to do something that he didn’t fucking do. When people see this they are going say, ‘Well he wasn’t really a nice guy. He may have been a tyrant.’ Well, that’s you. Because you never won anything. I wanted to win, but I wanted them to win to be a part of that as well. Look, I don’t have to do this. I am only doing it because it is who I am. That’s how I played the game. That was my mentality. If you don’t want to play that way, don’t play that way. Break.”

Quote Video Source

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Clay

May 2020

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.

Pruned

My Restaurant Was My Life for 20 Years. Does the World Need It Anymore?

For the past 10 years I’ve been staring wide-eyed and with alarm as the sweet, gentle citizen restaurant transformed into a kind of unruly colossal beast. The food world got stranger and weirder to me right while I was deep in it. The “waiter” became the “server,” the “restaurant business” became the “hospitality industry,” what used to be the “customer” became the “guest,” what was once your “personality” became your “brand,” the small acts of kindness and the way you always used to have of sharing your talents and looking out for others became things to “monetize.”

The work itself — cooking delicious, interesting food and cleaning up after cooking it — still feels as fresh and honest and immensely satisfying as ever. Our beloved regulars and the people who work so hard at Prune are all still my favorite people on earth. But maybe it’s the bloat, the fetishistic foodies, the new demographic of my city who have never been forced to work in retail or service sectors. Maybe it’s the auxiliary industries that feed off the restaurants themselves — the bloggers and agents and the “influencers,” the brand managers, the personal assistants hired just to keep you fresh on “Insta,” the Food & Wine festivals, the multitude of panels we chefs are now routinely invited to join, to offer our charming yet thoroughly unresearched opinions on. The proliferation of television shows and YouTube channels and culinary competitions and season after season of programming where you find yourself aghast to see an idol of yours stuffing packaged cinnamon buns into a football-shaped baking pan and squirting the frosting into a laces pattern for a tailgating episode on the Food Network.

And God, the brunch, the brunch. The phone hauled out for every single pancake and every single Bloody Mary to be photographed and Instagrammed. That guy who strolls in and won’t remove his sunglasses as he holds up two fingers at my hostess without saying a word: He wants a table for two. The purebred lap dogs now passed off as service animals to calm the anxieties that might arise from eating eggs Benedict on a Sunday afternoon. I want the girl who called the first day of our mandated shut down to call back, in however many months when restaurants are allowed to reopen, so I can tell her with delight and sincerity: No. We are not open for brunch. There is no more brunch.

Shoot, [No] Score

Why Sports Aren’t Coming Back Soon

Athletes, Jenga, Coaching Staff, Jenga, Interpreters, Jenga, Medical Staff, Jenga, Reporters, Jenga, Broadcasters, Jenga, Grounds Keepers, Jenga, Maintenance Workers, Jenga, Bus Drivers, Jenga, Hotel Staff, Jenga, Security Personnel, Jenga, Delivery People, Jenga.

No Worse Nightmare

The Devastating Decline of a Brilliant Young Coder

What makes you you? The question cuts to the core of who we are, the things that make us special in this universe. The converse of the question raises another kind of philosophical dilemma: If a person isn’t himself, who is he?

Countless philosophers have taken a swing at this elusive piñata. In the 17th century, John Locke pinned selfhood on memory, using recollections as the thread connecting a person’s past with their present. That holds some intuitive appeal: Memory, after all, is how most of us register our continued existence. But memory is unreliable. Writing in the 1970s, renowned philosopher Derek Parfit recast Locke’s idea to argue that personhood emerges from a more complex view of psychological connectedness across time. He suggested that a host of mental phenomena—memories, intentions, beliefs, and so on—forge chains that bind us to our past selves. A person today has many of the same psychological states as that person a day ago. Yesterday’s human enjoys similar overlap with an individual of two days prior. Each memory or belief is a chain that stretches back through time, holding a person together in the face of inevitable flux.

The gist, then, is that someone is “himself” because countless mental artifacts stay firm from one day to the next, anchoring that person’s character over time. It’s a less crisp definition than the old idea of a soul, offering no firm threshold where selfhood breaks down. It doesn’t pinpoint, for example, how many psychological chains you can lose before you stop being yourself.

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Clay