May 2023

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 Vend of the World

A day in the life of (almost) every vending machine in the world

Nine hours later, I was sitting in a spruce office in the Manchester suburb of Wythenshawe, drinking coffee with John “Johnny Brod” Broderick, the man who owned and operated that handsome airport machine. I’d had an idea to try to capture 24 hours in the life of vending machines. These weird, conspicuous objects! With their backs against the wall of everyday existence, they tempt out such a peculiar range of emotions, from relief to frustration, condescension to childish glee. For decades I’d been a steady and unquestioning patron. I figured that by spending some time in the closer company of the machines and their keepers, by immersing myself in their history, by looking to their future, I might get to the bottom of their enduring appeal. What made entrepreneurs from the Victorian age onwards want to hawk their goods in this way? What made generations of us buy? Johnny Brod seemed a good first person to ask.

Black Market, Brown Liquor

Inside the World of Black Market Bourbon

Up until the fall of 2019, the bourbon secondary market was a seemingly unstoppable wave. Some groups on Facebook dedicated to reselling bourbon had surpassed 50,000 members, turning the social network into a venerable bazaar, rife with unicorn bottles rarely glimpsed in the wild. Unfathomable pricing abounded, largely propagated by instaflippers: people who brazenly post snapshots of bottles for sale from the driver’s seat of their car, listing them at inflated prices before they’ve even left the store parking lot. Oftentimes the bottles were snapped up within minutes by eager buyers. Blame the taters (slang for a whiskey drinker with more money than taste); blame the allocation system of control states; blame the distillers for poor allotment of limited releases; blame the likes of the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets for declaring that bourbon was a winning investment that would only appreciate in value. One fact was crystalline: the bourbon secondary market had reached fever pitch.

Visualize Being Color Blind

Chasing rainbows

For some people, colorblindness is a serious liability that closes doors on career dreams. It’s hard to become a pilot, train conductor, or pathologist if you can’t differentiate colors in critical instruments, signals, or tissue samples. For others, it seriously impacts their day-to-day ability to do their jobs, like surveyors spotting flags, doctors looking at skin conditions, or electricians looking for colored wires.

But for me, it’s just a lifelong series of unnecessarily confusing interactions, demonstrating that the world wasn’t designed for people like me.

Pay Him What You Owe Him

The $1 million shot that changed sports contests forever

The ensuing 30 seconds might be the most joyous footage of that Bulls team ever. Seriously, watch the most celebratory moments from “The Last Dance,” and compare those with the clips you will inevitably see this April 14 on social media on the 30th anniversary of Calhoun’s heave. John Paxson and Scott Williams go wild. Some player just off-camera slaps Calhoun’s ass over and over again, and even one of the game refs comes over, hits him on the back and hands him the ball from the shot. Phil Jackson stands there with an incredulous grin, looking like he just won the $1 million.

Suddenly, Calhoun found himself bumped and butt-slapped directly into the middle of the Bulls huddle, where the other players parted and there stood Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan. Calhoun was the team’s 13th man at that moment. Calhoun was in there for a good 10 seconds when he felt Jordan slap him on the back and lean into his ear.

“Great shot, kid,” Jordan said.

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Thanks for reading. Have a great month,


Hi, that's me!

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A bit about me: I can be interested in anything, for better or worse. I love photography, travel, golf, and baseball. My latest pursuit is learning the guitar. I write a rad newsletter that I publish monthly.

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